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Umbragrus huxleyi

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So the shadow crane returns.

Knucker, Wyvern, European Lung or Lindwurm, there are many different names for a species which was once the most common dragon of Europe.
Umbragrus is a small relative of Cunfuciosaurus, the largest living draconiform, and like his Asian cousin it prefers habitats near water. Swamps, floodplains and low streams are their preferred hunting grounds and they also nest here. Especially riparian forests were common places for this species to pile up mud, branches and reed and lay one or two eggs. 
After the last Ice age Umbragrus flourished in Europe, the melting waters created many floodplains which were ideal for the animals. And while large wyvernids like Dsangisaurus suffered from the lose of large open plains these smaller confuciosaurids had no problem with the new large forests.
The decline of Umbragrus began with the rise of man. While both species at first just ignored each other, the increasing population of Homo sapiens and the way they shaped the land caused problems, mainly on the side of the dragons. Early, ancient cultures sometimes lived side by side to these dragons, even honored them in their religions. The germanic tribes, for example are well known for their sacrifice places at the edges of swamps.
The situation became increasingly difficult with the arrival of Christianity and another spark on human population... but that's enough history for today.

Umbragrus is the smallest member of the family,with up to 2,4 m in length and a wingspan of roughly 3,7 m.
Surprisingly the rather robust wings carried some specimens over half the continent every year. How isotop analysis showed some northern populations migrated during the winter in warmer, or at least more productive regions (don't judge a bird by their wings, I learned that from quails). Interestingly a population in South Endland remained in their habitat the whole year around (maybe because of knuckerholes)
The skull is lightweight and still partly mesokinetic, the para-nasal fenestra ist rather small and the premaxilla is raised so that the teeth have slightly forward, with way they can easier pierce the skin of a potential prey. 
Most prey consists of fish, adults catch up to 40 cm long carps, larger prey is killed and brought to the shore to shake it into pieces, but if possible most food is swallowed whole.
Besides fish Umbragrus also hunts water fowl (30% of kills in the Danube delta during the spring and early summer are young birds) and more rarely mammals like rats, musk rats and mice. Young Umbragrus, which begin to hunt just after hatching, also take down many invertebrates.

So. I would like to write more but it is late, I'm tired and the next dragon is already half way finished.
I hope you appreciate the many new details, information, redesign and updates I did here. You might already see how much this beast is grown in my mind when you compare
it to my first version, that very short description makes me digest backward these days: www.deviantart.com/art/Umbragr…
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© 2016 - 2020 Hyrotrioskjan
Comments82
anonymous's avatar
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gojimannn's avatar
can they still float/swim on water? similar to swans?
TheDubstepAddict's avatar
TheDubstepAddictHobbyist Traditional Artist
Spitze flügelchen?
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Gorgeous! Nice to have you back on the dragons of the world project again. This version feels a lot more like a varanid, especially through the head and torso. I especially love the extended patagium and the varanid-style skin folds, it feels a lot more like a living animal now.
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thank you so much, I was curious how you would react ^^
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Something I noticed on this guy and on Tarimhesaurus- but you can really tell a lot about their intended diet just from the structure of their jaws. There's the little notch in the upper jaw on Umbragus like on a crocodile or piscevorous varanid, and the dentition makes it clear that this guy is a 'snap and swallow' eater. This is especially present in the way that the teeth in the lower jaw get progressively smaller and the teeth in the upper jaw get larger- conveyor belt to slide the food back easily.

In comparison, the really deep jawbone of Tarimhesaurus and the shape and size of the teeth below the para-nasal fenestra make it clear that this particular species of dragon is primarily a biter that pumps pretty huge amounts of venom through those teeth. Also, does Umbragus has a bigger gular pouch? Would make sense seeing as it's a fish eater that likes to swallow its prey whole.
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Nice that you notice that ^^

Yeah, the dentition in Cofuciosaurus gets even more crazy and the forward facing teeth are even longer there.

The gular pouch is basically the same, but you might know how elastic these things can get ;) 
herofan135's avatar
herofan135Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THis is just fantastic, great redraw and I love the information and anatomy tidbits here. Thank you for taking the time to write it down, I know how time-consuming that is. :)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thank you very much, the research which went into this took me a while ^^
l-Zoopy-l's avatar
I'm really a huge fan of your work !!!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thanks :lol:
Constrict0r12's avatar
Constrict0r12Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes... just yes
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
=D :bow:
KepperBob's avatar
KepperBobHobbyist General Artist
Christianity Burning Innocents and killing dragons!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Fortunately no longer, they old order is no more and the grand children of the last members founded the Save the Dragons Network (STDN)
HUBLERDON's avatar
HUBLERDONHobbyist General Artist
Impressive and terrifying!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Thanks =D
mynameisnotdave23's avatar
mynameisnotdave23Hobbyist Traditional Artist
y u do dis Christianity
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Yep, bad things happened...
cft101's avatar
cft101Hobbyist General Artist
ropen myth explained
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
The Ropen is actually a giant fruit bat...
cft101's avatar
cft101Hobbyist General Artist
i know, but if this thing was alive, it mighthave inspired the myth
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
HyrotrioskjanProfessional General Artist
Umbragrus was never distributed in south east Asia ;)
cft101's avatar
cft101Hobbyist General Artist
oh
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
Dontknowwhattodraw94Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice to see this getting remade. I wasn't watching you yet when the original series was going on, so this is a good second chance to follow it in even better quality :)
anonymous's avatar
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