Have you ever met a Dinosaur Designer?

Plenty of little boys – and girls – become enamoured with dinosaurs, to the point of obsession. Most grow out of their fascination for T-Rex and Tricerotops but there’s one notable exception who’s managed to carve a creative livelihood out of his childhood passion.

Paul Stumkat is both a palaeontologist and professional artist – and he creates life-size models of prehistoric monsters at his Condamine Gorge studio, near Killarney. The fixation with dinosaurs began early.


“As a child, every waking hour was spent dreaming about these sort of things and wondering about them,” explains Paul.

His first foray into the combined world of art and ancient creatures came as a teenager when, at 17, he was enlisted by the Queensland Museum to assemble the Muttaburrasaurus skeleton replica that greets visitors in the main entry foyer.


Since that first big break – and they don’t come much bigger! – Paul has gone on to design and create natural history and dinosaur models for museums and tourist attractions across the state, including Richmond’s Kronosaurus Korner. One of his latest commissions is a pair of Ichthyosaurs – mother and baby.

Paul also leads regular fossil digs along Queensland’s Dinosaur Trail, bringing back ancient remains that, in his creative hands, come to life.

Precision is paramount and Paul works closely with fossil records before having a crack at a recreation. Fragments of the past fill every corner of his studio.


“It’s really important to get an accurate model and we go through a lot of strict processes to get an understanding of what the animal will look like. We then build a 1 to 10 scale model and I refer to that to do the larger, life-size construction.”


Paul also makes artists’ impressions of prehistoric giants, including a somewhat scary portrait of a new Pterosaur species discovered during a dig near Richmond.

“These things once roamed across the whole southern hemisphere, about 100 million years ago, and it’s rare to find these kind of creatures in Australia’s fossil record,” explains Paul.

“It does look a bit like a pelican on steroids!”










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