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Eosinopteryx

By EWilloughby
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Here is my rendition of Eosinopteryx brevipenna, the new troodontid described last week in Nature Communications. This tiny feathery, from the Late Jurassic Tiaojishan formation of Liaoning, China, differs from other basal troodontids in that it lacked the long feathers on the metatarsals and pes that typifies related animals, such as Anchiornis. It also had much shorter footclaws than related species, and this together with the lack of "legwings" indicates it was very likely a terrestrial bird. The animal is also a bit unusual in that its tail is rather short and lacks any sign of retrices, which gives it a bit unusual and somehow more "primitive" appearance than its relatives.

Here, the little fellow perches atop a mossy stump, possibly the highest vantage point it was able to manage. The paper makes no mention of whether the ungual on the second digit of the foot could be retracted, but the fossil's second pedal claw is clearly larger than the other claws on the foot, so it's possible it was used to aid in balance as well as predation.

Photoshop CS4.

Godefroit, P.; Demuynck, H.; Dyke, G.; Hu, D.; Escuillié, F. O.; Claeys, P. (2013). "Reduced plumage and flight ability of a new Jurassic paravian theropod from China". Nature Communications 4: 1394. doi:10.1038/ncomms2389.
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Comments92
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Magic-Gerbil's avatar
I love the colours :)
SilverMollusk's avatar
moyashisoba's avatar
good job\ (๑ʘ∆ʘ๑)/
TheDubstepAddict's avatar
Lol, I searched for H.G. Wells and got this!
y87arrow's avatar
The face of this dinosaur reminds me of James Cahill, a young snooker player (struggling to stay a professional player after some not so good results in the last tournaments).
He must have a nice time being on this tree stump, being very small, possibly undetected by big predators.
Mulunia's avatar
This is so pretty!
GameRulrr's avatar
Amazing word, I love it. I hope it's okay if I use this picture as my avatar. I love your work.
Yullapa's avatar
Beautiful colours! Especially sky and leaves!
raptorkil's avatar
can we just have a dinosaur encyclopedia with all dinosaur species ever illustrated by you? Just, like a lifetime project? It would be the best thing ever, "How Dinosaurs Really Looked Like"
hannahmcgill's avatar
Too few paleo artists want to display ancient creatures in such flattering colors with soft textures. :)
StudioSpectre's avatar
Angelotheweasel4227's avatar
...and here we come to the missing link between birds and reptiles...
Yep, definetly facing this one:+fav:
One of my favourite dinosaurs. Well, my favourites are swans, crows (especially ravens) and parrots so I am a man of simply tastes. Though I do adore all maniraptors!
WhiskerfaceRumpel's avatar
I just love all the pretty colors in this! 
JacquelineRae's avatar
Amazing! I love the colors in this one. I like your paleo-illustrations - they seem very accurate and highly detailed, yet still express a lot of creativity.
Think-Like-the-Wolf's avatar
Reminds me of a roadrunner. Could it have had some flight capabilities, as in "extended" jumps to escape predators?
EWilloughby's avatar
Roadrunners definitely are rather deinonychosaurine-looking birds. I do imagine that the extended feathers on the legs and arms could be utilized in something like WAIR stabilizing jumps and fast turns, or extending jumps, but I doubt that it had any significant gliding or flight abilities.
joeyv7's avatar
Very cool style. I like the attention to detail and what you did with the shadows here. Nice retro 'field guide' feel to your illustrations, very unique :)
EWilloughby's avatar
Thanks muchly! I've never had my work described as retro field-guide style before, haha.
Sketchy-raptor's avatar
It's amazing how realistic your deinonychosaur art is. So much so, when I've been asked by friends how best to reconstruct a deinonychosaur, I always send them to your gallery. Beautiful, as always.
EWilloughby's avatar
Thank you, that's very kind of you!
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