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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.
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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: ([HB] Coo!)
Haven't done something like this in absolutely forever, so here you go:

I have a list of 15 characters. Please propose scenarios in the style of: "1 and 5 bake bread together. Does the kitchen survive?"


"3, 7, and 9 wake up married. Does the universe survive? What does 10 think?"

etc. Characters from RvB, Borderlands, Portal, Hatoful Boyfriend. COME AT ME BRO. If you get really lucky some of these may get drawn, depending on if I feel like it or not.
shichahn: (Default)
One of these days I'll draw something and have it be an actual finished image, but sketching is nice and relaxing in the meantime. For those of you not familiar with the game, this is Bloodwing from the Borderlands series - Mordecai's pet bird-bat-alien thing. I'll probably do an actual drawing with both of them at some point but I mostly just wanted to get her anatomy figured out.

Cut for size )
shichahn: ([RvB] Sun was in my eyes)
This show, man. No other show swings so successfully from hilarity one moment to depicting torture scenes in the next. Good times.


1 Sep 2012 14:38
shichahn: ([ITC] My milky lens!)

shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Man, it's been a while since I updated this. Apologies! Also I apologize doubly because the only update you will get from me today are some memes, taken from [ profile] zolac_no_miko. Well, that, and the news that today's RvB episode (almost typed epsilon, lol) was amazing.

Your Internet Life and YOU! )

Umm, I'll post the other memes in a different post so this one doesn't get super long. In other news, I am very full. The interns have all left the field house, so of course I checked to see what food they left behind. Freezer had 2lbs of ground venison in it. I made burgers tonight, with homemade buns. Best burgers ever.
shichahn: ([HB] Coo!)
I played Hatoful Boyfriend for the internet for six hours straight last night. Only two small breaks. The endgame story was just that freaking intense, I could not do anything else until it had finished.

I... I had no idea in advance just how... amazing? Terrifying? Super extremely depressing? this game would be. Also, no idea how long, omg. BBL is longer than the rest of the game put together.

My throat is kind of sore from reading lines for SIX HOURS, but it... it was so worth it.

For any of you that missed out, I highly recommend picking up this game yourself. You can do so here for a little over $5. A sequel is already out in Japan, and I am really excited for the English version, once it gets translated.

A concession: As I said, I didn't expect this game to be as good as it was, and I pirated it, expecting a quick play of some stupid dating sim. I feel bad about this. So to give back, I think I have to buy some of this amazing merch. In particular, I think I want this mug. Should I get it?

♦ Yes
♦ Yes
♦ Yes
shichahn: (Default)
I really, really hope this movie is going to be as good as this trailer looks.

shichahn: ([HB] Coo!)
I will be streaming the final storyline in Hatoful Boyfriend this weekend, so once again, please join me at, and on skype, once I go live! I haven't settled on a date and time yet; I want to pick something that works for as many people as possible. How does 8PM Central on Saturday work for you guys?

I've already received word that Saturday is no good. 8PM Friday (tomorrow), anyone?
shichahn: ([HB] Coo!)
This Friday, July 20th, I will be streaming the dating sim parody game Hatoful Boyfriend at The stream will start at 8PM Central time, and will include several playthroughs and, if there is time and interest, the end-game scenario BBL (which I haven't yet unlocked, so, we'll see).

My twitch stream will only have gameplay. If you want more interaction than that, there will be a simultaneous group call on skype, so please feel free to add me there (my skype name is tinylongwing) and send me a message, and I will add you to the call. This is important if you want to be able to give input on the choices I make in-game! Also, it's a lot more fun than just the stream alone.

For those who have not heard of it, Hatoful Boyfriend is a game in which you are a human girl who is the lone human attendee of Japan's finest school for birds, St. Pigeonation's Institute. Ridiculous, right? Believe me, it gets even better. Just. You have no idea. So come join in on Friday and find out how truly bizarre this game is.
shichahn: ([RvB] Yellow rose of Texas clad in black)
Manda had a thought, that perhaps Tex has naturally curly hair but she hates it, so she straightens it. I, of course, had to draw the new curly-haired Tex.

Someday she'll realize it's better this way. )
shichahn: ([StH] Sunny day)
I was scanning through Season 9 for nefarious purposes good reasons, and it suddenly occurred to me.

lol. Hedgehogs.
shichahn: (Default)
So I fail at keeping you guys informed. I am now into my first field season for my thesis project. tl;dr, I am investigating the use of restored wetlands and fish farm ponds by migrating shorebirds, which are largely in decline, and the interior subspecies of the Least Tern, which is endangered. The Mississippi River delta area in eastern Arkansas used to be mostly wetland, but it's now mostly rice and soy fields instead. But lately there's been an expansion of aquaculture in the region, and the federal government has also started a farm bill which provides monetary incentives for farmers to retire marginal farmland and restore it to its original wetland condition - or something resembling that, anyway. So both of these things may help shorebirds and terns which use the Mississippi River flyway each spring and fall, and it's my job to figure out how many and which species and what kinds of habitat conditions are associated with bird use in these areas. It's pretty cool, and I get to work with a lot of small businesses and local landowners that actually want to help birds by making their farming operations more bird-friendly.

For you, the internet, this means I am gone most days of the week, and come May, once classes are over, I will be gone even more, until early June sometime. So if something of major internet importance happens, inform me! As I will probably miss it. Also, spam me with lulzy nonsense. I always love that.

Now, for those few people on my flist who don't already know, RvB Season 10 starts on May 28th this year. At PAX, RT showed a very early version of a scene from the Freelancer part of the story, with yet another battle between the Freelancers and an Insurrectionist cell. Watch it. Now. :)

(Mini not-really-spoiler: Sigma is apparently voiced by Elijah Wood. Yes, really. Now they just need to do a live-action film version with Sean Bean as the Director... Either that, or John Reed needs to make some iconable faces for me.)
shichahn: (Default)
Legend of Korra premieres tomorrow! :DDDDD

(See, okay, excuse my massive EXCITE, because I had no idea when this show would start up and thought to check just now, so, omg)
shichahn: (Feets!)
So, as most of you probably know, one of the latest advances in dinosaur reconstruction is identifying their coloration. We can do this by looking at the microscopic structures in dinosaur feathers, called melanosomes, in which certain melanosome shapes yield specific colors in the resulting feather. Previously, we had identified the colors of three dinosaurs: Sinosauropteryx, Anchiornis, and Archaeopteryx.

The latest addition is the coloration of Microraptor gui, which struck paleontologists as particularly remarkable when it was discovered - this dinosaur has four wings, rather than two. The front limbs as well as the back limbs are winged, giving it an unusual, biplane-like appearance. It is suspected that the surface area added by the lower/rear wings aided this animal in gliding from branches, rather than being used for powered, flapping flight like in modern birds.

But there's something else we should take from this image, the latest artistic rendering of Microraptor, as released yesterday by the American Museum of Natural History: the line between dinosaur and bird gets ever-fuzzier with each new discovery.

Microraptor had iridescent black plumage like Archaeopteryx, and like modern crows and blackbirds. That particular plumage coloration is usually for feather strength. Black feathers are more resistant to sun wear than other colors, so for birds that spend a lot of time in edge or open habitats, this is important for keeping feathers in good condition. Learning the coloration of Microraptor tells us that this dinosaur lived in relatively open areas, while its gliding style suggests that there was some kind of structure in those habitats as well - so a wooded edge, perhaps, or shrubland, or even the forest canopy, might have been where Microraptor lived. Its size - about that of a pigeon - and sharp teeth and talons suggest that it ate small vertebrate prey, and some Microraptor skeletons have small mammal and dinosaur/bird bones in the stomach. Around 300 fossils of this animal have been found, which is a rather incredible number. It was likely very common in ancient China, which makes it again very similar to today's blackbirds. Each little piece of information informs us further about its lifestyle - remarkable for something that has been extinct for nearly 120 million years.

I keep looking at that picture, above. And I want to show it to anyone who still believes that birds are not dinosaurs. Not that dinosaurs and birds are related, no - because that is a fairly well-established scientific fact by now, and anyone who still supports the ancestral archosaur hypothesis probably lives under a rock. But beyond that, birds are dinosaurs. If we can look at the skeleton of a Microraptor, or an Anchiornis or even a Sinosauropteryx and call it a dinosaur, and then look at the skeleton of a chicken or a hawk or an ostrich, the only thing that separates these animals is time. Yes, birds today are toothless, and many of them have strong flight muscles. But we have found toothless, beaked dinosaurs. Not the plant-eating kind, but the carnivorous birdlike Limusaurus. We also have a number of modern birds without strong flight muscles - think kiwis, cassowaries, emus, ostriches, and many others. So that does not separate birds and dinosaurs either. Birds are part of a long, continuous line of theropod dinosaurs which survived the mass extinction at the K-T boundary. They have evolved and rapidly diversified since then, but that does not make them not dinosaurs. It makes them survivors.


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May 2014

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