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Not a Parrot

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By Eurwentala   |   
© 2016 - 2020 Eurwentala
After the K/T extinction, Evolution missed his beloved oviraptors. This is why he made parrots.

Conchoraptor gracilis, a crestless oviraptorid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. It wasn't much bigger than a macaw, and certainly looks quite a bit like one. I haven't drawn much oviraptors before, because their highly specialized skulls felt so weird and difficult. However, the longer I looked at my pet parrots, the more I felt they help me understand the odd anatomy of these guys.

So here's what I came up with, reconstructing the animal layer after layer on top of the skull, slightly bending the soft tissue towards parrot-like features.
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anonymous's avatar
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Oviraptorus's avatar
OviraptorusHobbyist Digital Artist

You've done a good job on making dinosaurs look more like actual animals instead of shrinkwrapped monsters. This whole artpiece is wonderfully crafted, good job!

Myony's avatar
MyonyHobbyist Digital Artist
I really see oviraptorosaurs as kinda like the kakapos and keas of their environments. : 3
Crowford210's avatar
Crowford210Student Artist
Reminds me of a macaw i pet-sitted. Thing was feisty, but I felt a bit of empathy for the thing because it was stuck in a cage.
Cool raptor!
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional General Artist
Thanks! Yeah, a small cage's no place for a parrot to live. My pets have a cage, but it's always open and they have the whole room to live and fly in.
BDMcKown's avatar
BDMcKownProfessional Traditional Artist
incredible, fantastic, nice detective work!
dinobenten's avatar
A friend of mine and I have been contemplating the use of oviraptor crests. We somewhat came to a conclusion that it is like what the crest on a parasaurolophus is, a tool for sound. We also concluded that they may have been colorful and the weirdest of all Ceres in the maniraptorian world. You put our Cere idea into physical form. Thank you.
Jdailey1991's avatar
Is the parrot comparison enough to justify the idea of oviraptorids being herbivores?
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional General Artist
Honestly, I don't know. To me they sure look like herbivores or plant-dominated omnivores, but then animals aren't always what they seem to be. Lets just say I would be surprised if their diet did not include significant amount of plants.
acepredator's avatar
The basal ones were definitely herbivores. They seem to have become more specialized in eating very small animals as time went on.
TheAsianGuyLOL's avatar
TheAsianGuyLOLHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this looks very realistic and plausible for it. Amazing work!
Tarturus's avatar
TarturusHobbyist Digital Artist
Oviraptorosaurs did indeed look kinda parrot-like. One of the many differences though was the fact that they had teeth. Not many teeth, but they were there all the same.
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional General Artist
Basal oviraptorosaurs, like Incisivosaurus, did have teeth, but the more derived oviraptorids (like this guy here) were entirely toothless.

Sure, there are many differences, but the overall shape of the skull, as specialized as it is, is shockingly similar to parrots. One of the more important differences probably is that parrots are capable of cranial kinesis - that is, their upper beak has a hinge and can move up and down. In oviraptorids, only the jaw was mobile.
John-AM's avatar
John-AMHobbyist General Artist
Wow, beautiful and clever rendition! I never thought of comparing oviraptorid  heads to parrots! Oviraptorids are amongst my favorites, but I have a hard time remembering how to draw their heads too.
AGmantheAG's avatar
AGmantheAGHobbyist Artist
I like how you give evolution itself a personality :). And taking inpiration from animals for paleoart is the best, especialy when its based of a pet. 
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional General Artist
Haha, I just really like these stories about Evolution making weird stuff:
JurassicJacob's avatar
Your art is truly beautiful. And this piece I love in particular, as I have an inordinate fondness for oviraptorids.
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional General Artist
Thanks. :)
HUBLERDON's avatar
HUBLERDONHobbyist General Artist
Looks awesome! Love the lip folds!
Midiaou's avatar
MidiaouHobbyist General Artist
jummbl's avatar
jummblHobbyist Digital Artist
munkas02's avatar
munkas02Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pristichampsus's avatar
PristichampsusProfessional General Artist
I am of the opinion that these guys would have been like big flightless parrots in general. Except without as much cranio-kinesis. I tend to think the Oviraptorines at least were durophagous and ate something hard like fruits, nuts and seeds, but this brings into question why North America had none, but was much better vegetated with fruiting plants. Maybe they dug out roots and tubers instead, or were simply destructive feeders in general yet fed mainly on branches and leaves (parrots do a good job at ripping apart branches and bark). It seems plausible that Caegnathids were browsers, seeing as their long fingers seem ideal for hooking down branches, chalicothere-style.
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