Changyuraptor yangi is a newly-described microraptorine dromaeosaur dinosaur from the early Cretaceous (Yixian formation) of Liaoning, China.
The animal would have been around 4 feet long in life, and its fossil shows that it was covered in feathers — including, as in its smaller cousin Microraptor, a pair of “leg wings” represented by long paired pennaceous feathers on the metatarsals and tibiotarsus. One of Changyuraptor's most unique features is its voluminous tail feathers, and these feathers constitute the longest of any known non-avian dinosaur, with the most distal retrices reaching around 30 cm in length.
Changyuraptor is also by far the largest “four-winged” dinosaur known, and while this might not be as big of a deal as it sounds (given that there aren’t very many “four-winged” dinosaurs), it does show that small size wasn’t necessarily the gatekeeper to certain volant adaptations. I personally doubt that this animal was doing anything approaching powered flight, but the long tail feathers and multiple sets of long, well-developed lifting surfaces may have been a boon to gliding and controlled descent. The exceptionally long tail feathers therefore might have been used as a sort of “pitch control” device, wherein a large, relatively heavy animal would have needed especially fine-tuned control over rapid falls onto prey or in safe landings from higher ground. As Buzz Lightyear would say, “This isn’t flying, it’s falling with style!”
Gouache paint on A3-size hot-pressed illustration board, approx. 5-6 hours.
Gang Han et al. 2014. “A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance”. Nature Communications. 5: 4382.
Deinonychus speedpaint from last night. Fixed the lopsided nostril and a few other little things.
Pectinodon bakkeri vs Stygimoloch by Mohamad Haghani
Dromaeosaurs by Jonathan Kuo
Microraptor by Franco Tempesta
jurassic-girl said: Ps. Featherd Dinosaurs ARE cute
Agreed, kind of, they can be cute, take a look at Blair Sampson’s art:
But then again, he can make Cthulhu look cute:
And I wouldn’t say this is exactly cute:
“Deinonychus attacking” by Michael Skrepnick
Useful guide by bird and moon
Deinonychus. Sepia ink, coloured pencils and gouache, sketchbook page. By Niroot Puttapipat:
"Inspired, of course, by birds of prey in general, I made a conscious effort of bulking up its feathers much more than my earlier attempts, and aiming for a yet smoother, more avian silhouette (it suddenly occurs to me how long ago I actually began this study, as it went on to form the basis for Marc’s Deinonychus portrait in the New Year greeting I completed back in January). I think perhaps its front third is fairly respectable, which perhaps is just as well, since that third eventually made its way upon a garment after some persuasion.”
Jinfengopteryx elegans by Hillary Esdaile:
"New Caledonian crows fashion sticks into harpoons and use them to snag tasty grubs out of holes and rotting wood. I wanted to draw a dinosaur using tools the same way, and I figured if any dinosaur was clever enough to figure it out, it would be a troodontid. So here is Jinfengopteryx elegans, a small troodontid from China that lived around 122 million years ago. This was my first serious foray into paleo art and though I admit I took some liberties with the flora, I tried to be as accurate as I could with the dinosaur. Jaime A. Headden helped me out a lot with the anatomy (many thanks!)”
GIFs from this video