Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Velociraptor Mongoliensis: 1:1 Sculpture



Hello All,

My name is Nicholas Fonseca. I am new to Art Evolved, and I am excited to share my first post.

I am sharing with you my life reconstruction of Velociraptor mongoliensis.
I based this reconstruction on photos and dimensions of the "Fighting Dinosaur" Specimen: GI 100/25.

I wanted to create an image of Velociraptor as animal not a movie monster. Too many times dinosaurs, and Velociraptor in particular are portrayed jaws agape in a ferocious leap onto prey. I chose instead to pose this animal crouching over a nest of its eggs. I feel this creates a naturalistic view of Velociraptor, as an animal that not only needs to hunt prey "or hapless scientists" but also to rear its young thus ensuring the survival of it's genetic progeny.

Enjoy!










12 comments:

Harrison Cooper said...

That is simply lovely.

Craig Dylke said...

Looking great Nicholas, and publicly welcome aboard ART Evolved!

Can't wait to see more stuff from you here in the future!

Hadiaz said...

While I do like your sculpture (It's very detailed & life-like, reminding me of Czerkas's work in that sense), it could be better. Specifically, I'm referring to the distribution of feathers AWA the lack of true wing & tail feathers (For more info: http://albertonykus.deviantart.com/art/Tips-on-Deinonychosaur-Drawing-133537423 ).

Craig Dylke said...

Hadiaz- Please point me to the exact paper or research that tells us the exact feather distribution on Velociraptor?!?

Last time I checked we could confirm it had some form of feathers in its arms. Not what they looked like nor how long...

Hadiaz said...

"Please point me to the exact paper or research that tells us the exact feather distribution on Velociraptor?!?"

I never said there was such a paper. All I said was that Cooper's sculpture could've been better based on what we know about other maniraptors (extant or extinct, dromaeosaurid or non-dromaeosaurid) as indicated by the deviation I linked him too. E.g. Unlike any known maniraptor (which has different feather types on different body parts), Cooper's sculpture has the same 1 feather type on every body part w/feathers.

"Not what they looked like nor how long..."

I never said we know how long they were. In any case, the paper describing Velociraptor's quill knobs showed that they were strong secondary flight feathers (as opposed to the flimsy-looking symmetrical feathers of said sculpture).

Craig Dylke said...

Hadiaz- You're doing it again is the funny thing :P

"based on what we know about other maniraptors (extant or extinct, dromaeosaurid or non-dromaeosaurid)"

Sorry, but that is implying we know more about Velociraptor than we do.
OTHER animals are NOT Velocirpator, and thus no basis to tell someone how to "better" reconstruct a Velociraptor.

Posting a link to Albertonkychus' guide also implies that it is right, and again it is not.

While MANY birds and coelurosaurs follow patterns on feathers, not all do or outwardly appear too.

Emus are one of my favorite examples. On a living Emu all the visible feathers are pretty uniform much like this Velociraptor. More to the point Velociraptor was living a lifestyle much more like an Emu than it would have been a Microraptor (one of the main analouges I'm pretty sure you're citing). Emus also derived from flight feather bearing ancestors, but nowadays you'd have to look closely at the wings on a dead one to see the difference.

Velociraptor is not closely related to anything that was flying in the Dromaeosaur family tree. I see absolutely no reason it couldn't have lost some of the flight aspects of its feathers in a rough and tough terrestrial life style

More to the point, for someone who does clearly knows their stuff, you should remember to expect the unexpected with soft tissue in the fossil record. That's been my guiding rule for the past 10 years.

Hadiaz said...

"Emus are one of my favorite examples."

I get what you're saying. However, as much as I like ratites, emus aren't good examples here: Unlike eudromaeosaurs, their wings are tiny & vestigial; Also, they (like other maniraptors) have different feather types on different body parts (I.e. Downy head feathers & symmetrical body feathers).

Craig Dylke said...

Hadiaz- Well my immediate counter challenge is, what actual evidence do you have that the Emu "[is]n't [a] good examples here"?

However at least you're coming halfway to my main point.

I'll take your point Emus aren't a good example so long as you accept my point that neither is a Microraptors or any other Maniraptor or Dromaeosaur you can name or provide except a Velociraptor itself!

That is my point. Yes you can suggest referring to other animals, but that does NOT make the reconstruction better... Nothing will short of basing it on an actual feathered Velociraptor. Since we don't have one, frankly the sky is the limit (so long as you get into the sky with feathers :P). Again soft tissues in the fossil record continues to hammer home the message of expect the unexpected!

The fact this model has feathers makes it fantastic compared to the bulk of raptor art out there as a matter of fact! :P

Nick Fonseca said...

Hey guys, this is Nick the creator of said Velociraptor. I finished the sculpture before the quill nob paper came out, and I based the arrangement of feathers on that of Sinornithosaurus "Dave" and from what I could see there were no flight feathers indicated at the time. Besides, emus have weird quills sticking out of their arms. Do they have quill nobs? If so, isn't it just as plausible that Velociraptor had quills and not flight feathers? In all honesty I have meant to go back and add them on, but life goes on.

Nick Fonseca said...

Hey guys, this is Nick the creator of said Velociraptor. I finished the sculpture before the quill nob paper came out, and I based the arrangement of feathers on that of Sinornithosaurus "Dave" and from what I could see there were no flight feathers indicated at the time. Besides, emus have weird quills sticking out of their arms. Do they have quill nobs? If so, isn't it just as plausible that Velociraptor had quills and not flight feathers? In all honesty I have meant to go back and add them on, but life goes on.

Hadiaz said...

@Craig Dylke

1stly, I wanted to update you on what I've learned since my previous comment. I asked Emily about it &, as it turns out, emus DO have primaries (See the EWilloughby quote). The only extant birds that don't are kiwis, & that's b/c they don't have hands.

2ndly, I wanted to clarify what I said in my previous comment: I get what you're saying about not knowing for sure what Velociraptor feathers looked like w/out feathered Velociraptor fossils. However, I hope you get what I'm saying about phylogenetic bracketing being the best (I.e Most scientific) way to infer what they looked like (as opposed to just doing whatever one feels like). Both all of the more basal maniraptors & all of the more derived maniraptors are feathered a certain way (I.e. Different feather types on different body parts, hands w/primaries, etc), so until someone discovers said fossils & they show otherwise, our best inference is that Velociraptor was too.

@Nick Fonseca: "I finished the sculpture before the quill nob paper came out,"

Fair enough. I originally assumed you finished after Turner et al. 2007.

Quoting EWilloughby ( http://sagekorppi.deviantart.com/art/Feathered-Dino-Arm-Wing-PSA-332927941 ): "As far as I can tell, kiwis are the lone exception - not because their primary feathers don't attach to the hand, but because they don't have a hand at all! Theirs is (essentially) entirely reduced, leaving only a little claw sticking out of the ulna. [link] There may be a few sprigs of vestigial primaries attaching to base of the claw - it's really hard to tell, and I've yet to find a good photograph that made this clear.

Emus do have primary feathers which attach to the hand, though they are quite simplified and reduced in length. They have very reduced hands also [link] , but enough remaining to allow anchoring of primaries. [link] (Interestingly, emus also have claws on their hands, as several ratites do.)"

Raptor Red said...

very realistic, I can almost believe that's what they could have looked like. TOO REALISTIC, this scientifically sound representation of velociraptors as real organisms bound to nature destroys the kick-ass over-the-top jurassic park view of super-predators streamlined and crafted by artists.