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Raptorex kriegsteini

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By MattMart   |   
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© 2010 - 2020 MattMart
Raptorex kriegsteini is a Jehol despot with a sordid past. It looks so much like a baby Tarbosaurus, I and others doubted whether its referral to the Yixian Formation, and therefore to a distinct species, was accurate. It's now looking more likely that this little guy is a juvenile tyrannosaurid of some as-yet undetermined species (or new species) from the LK of Mongolia.

I gave this sparser feathers than Dilong and Yutyrannus. I figure if Dilong is indeed a basal deinodontoid, I can show the transition from more feathers to less in the big guys.
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Comments17
anonymous's avatar
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Saurornithoides's avatar
This fellow was nabbed from the fossil trade. That's why there's so much controversy - nobody knew exactly where it came from. If it was taken from the fossil trade and doesn't have reliable locality data, it should be considered useless.
Albertonykus's avatar
Another thing I like about the bald head here is that most feathered dinosaurs can clean their heads with their claws, but in Raptorex and more derived tyrannosauroids their arms are too short for that! (I think modern birds manage to make up for lack of functional wing claws by mutual grooming, but who knows if tyrannosauroids did that. Maybe they could use their hind claws for cleaning, but it's not a bad idea in any case.)
EmperorDinobot's avatar
What a cute little animal.
pilsator's avatar
pilsatorHobbyist Traditional Artist
From an aesthetical point, I never liked those bare-headed vulture-faced theropods - mostly because many artists tend to depict even tiny deinonychosaurs that way ("oooh, let's get it not THAT birdy"), but this one is great. Cool job with those wrinkles, and I'm quite pleased to see some index fossil-wise evidence that it's really not the unpublished baby Tarb.
MattMart's avatar
MattMartHobbyist Digital Artist
I usually feel the same way, but from an ecological standpoint it does make sense for some. And usually, when birds go bare-headed, they often have wrinkly, vulture-like skin in bright colors. So it wouldn't be surprising if many Mesozoic species developed wrinkly, bright red or pink or blue heads and necks covered in wattles. Vulture like, turkey like, cassowary like, stork like whatever you want to call it.
indigomagpie's avatar
Hey, it may be ugly, but it'd definitely help keep their faces clean.
Brad-ysaurus's avatar
Even more remarkable, it appears Raptorex was almost the same colour as its famous late Maastrichtian descendant! ;)
MattMart's avatar
MattMartHobbyist Digital Artist
Yup! Either history repeats itself, or I'm hedging my bets about the Tarbosaurus thing ;)
saintabyssal's avatar
saintabyssalHobbyist General Artist
Nice. But "deinodontoids"? Really?
MattMart's avatar
MattMartHobbyist Digital Artist
It's either that or Coeluroids, if you don't like family-level taxa based on dubious genera. And who doesn't, besides hadrosaur, ceratopsian, sauropod, and deinonychosaur workers?
SpongeBobFossilPants's avatar
Think I'll stick with coeluroids.
Dinomaniac's avatar
oh for pete sake. The supposed Lycoptera remains were disarticulated vertebra. The authors didn't even provide any reasoning for the Lycoptera identification.

Cool painting. Your fielguide series is coming along nicely. :)
MattMart's avatar
MattMartHobbyist Digital Artist
True, that description is really, really bad. Also from the supp.:
"While it is easy to distinguish the skulls of Guanlong (S12) and Dilong (S13) from that of Raptorex given the diagnostic cranial crests on the former two genera,
differences are less obvious between Raptorex and the recently described basal tyrannosaurid Xiongguanlong (S5)."

The crest on the what now? That's about all the comparison they give to a supposedly contemporary tyrannosaur. Dilong has a crest. Except it doesn't. :P
Albertonykus's avatar
Nice vulture look. (Watch out, fuel for obligate scavenger hypothesis! XD)

I sometimes wonder why most Dilong reconstructions give it a full protofeather coat when a lot of people are quite eager to half feather deinonychosaurs, especially in light of the fact that we have full body integument from deinonychosaurs but only a little bit from Dilong. To me, it appears quite likely that Dilong could have been just partially fuzzy similar to Juravenator, Concavenator, and maybe Compsognathus and the tyrannosaurids.
MattMart's avatar
MattMartHobbyist Digital Artist
Very true. Though the lack of scale or skin preservation other than filaments would make me hesitant to fill in the gaps with naked skin or scales in those basal taxa.
nemo-ramjet's avatar
Your style is nearing perfection - I hope we see more such paintings these days...
anonymous's avatar
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