How did I not reply to this message!
I'm so sorry, and so glad I scrolled down the page!
I first encountered a rigid ribcage in a sci-fi book by... Oh dear I've forgotten his name, but he was a mathematician and made many vulgar mistakes with his alien species, reading the book made me more aware of this, particularly when later discussing my concerns with my dad, who is far more knowledgeable than I: I remember one of his species was a large predator with a rigid ribcage that lacked curiosity but had developed intelligence, but I couldn't understand how anything could evolve successfully with a solid ribcage and still retain flexibility and speed, and an intelligent predator without curiosity is certainly an impossibility, but, I digress, the manner in which you've attempted to encompass both a degree of rigidity and flexibility is impressive, in fact your manovering around all the odd aspects of McCaffrey's dragons is impressive, I am guessing she has the digestive tract running down the tail for added alien traits, and I suppose it could occur, but it is hazardous, whereas a digestive system centralised in the abdomen only is relatively protected and safe, I can imagine the intestine in the tail leading to many complications: twisting, crushing, peritonitis if it was ripped... So your added ribs create some sense around it.
I absolutely adore how you've put the forelegs forwards, aesthetically it is beautiful, until the engineer in me kicks in, all flying creatures and machines have their CoG/CG (Centre of Gravity) towards the front, say in birds and bats the chest, in planes it is in the equivalent of the chest: between the wings... CoG has something to do with inertia I believe, the exact reason escapes me, but the machine/animal in question turns/pitches/yaws/moves around this point, and it dictates stability, I really should know this, oh well. The CoG on this design isn't so far back as to unbalance the creature, particularly as it's forearms and neck seem so lightly built, but I am still getting a distinct feeling of instability: not necessarily a bad thing, the more stable a flying form the less manoverable it is e.g. the Typhoon Eurofighter, which is fundamentally unstable but very very manoverable.
I shall have to check out Hummingbird's work, I know I've seen it before, but I'm sure I'll get a kick out of looking over it again, her work is so beautiful, thank you for reminding me about it.
Ah yes, the bipedal form of Rasasa has allowed Hummingbird to keep in a large proportion of birdlike anatomy, allowing for a rigid chest and forward placed CoG.
Huh, revisiting your work, seeing her work and looking back at mine, I see I have quite a bit of work to revamp, and I think I shall take a leaf out of your book and dissect a chicken, I know where our old kit is, so it shouldn't be too hard to attempt something like that, any suggestions?