shichahn: (Default)

Jeholopterus was a small insectivorous anurognathid pterosaur from the Jurassic period in China. It was found with very well-preserved skin and protofeathers, and long bristles near its face, likely for helping to funnel insects into its wide mouth the way today's nighthawks and nightjars do.

David Peters, a source of some controversy in the pterosaur paleontological community, has hypothesized that this species was actually a parasite on larger vertebrates. He claims what others call skull fragments that were found near the face is actually a pair of long snake-like fangs, and that Jeholopterus would have fed in a similar fashion to today's vampire bats. The general consensus is that this is a bunch of nonsense, but a vampiric pterosaur makes for some pretty cool speculation, and I wouldn't be surprised if something like that were eventually discovered in the fossil record.
shichahn: (Default)

Jinfengopteryx is a troodontid, though when it was first discovered it was considered a bird and a relative of Archaeopteryx. Troodontids have an unusual feature shared only with owls and no other known animal - their ears are asymmetrical, with one ear higher on the skull than the other. This allows for a much easier time pinpointing the location of something the animal hears, and this, plus the large eyes in this family, suggest that troodontids, like owls, may have been nocturnal or crepuscular predators - although the most complete Jinfengopteryx skeleton had seeds in its digestive tract, and based on tooth shape, it and other troodontids may have been omnivorous.
shichahn: ([ITC] Moss - Nerding)
Last one for today: a Microraptor gui, in true color.

I've written about these little guys before. We know they were a glossy iridescent black, and we know they were either very common or lived in large flocks, or both. They seem to be the Cretaceous' answer to crows or blackbirds.
shichahn: (Feets!)
Just a quick one this morning, mostly a result of me trying to picture how those funny arms Mononykus/Shuvuuia and their relatives have could be actually useful for getting at food.

Edit: I re-cropped the image and added a touch of color via some gradients. Just playing around but I think I like this version better. The original drawing is within the cut.

Click for original version )

Drawing rotting stumps is actually pretty fun, I've decided.

I think Microraptor will be next. Drawing iridescence should be interesting.
shichahn: (Default)
I don't think anyone actually reads this but if you are, hello! I'm just sort of going to use this as a place to dump and organize art for now, I think. If anyone actually is reading this and wants me to put images behind a cut, let me know.

Alvarezsaur, based on Mononykus/Shuvuuia. While these insectivores are speculated to have used their claws to tear open logs in search of termites, they were also fast, agile runners and likely would have taken opportunity of a passing dragonfly.


shichahn: (Default)

May 2014

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