Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An Anting Alvarezsaurid




As you may have noticed, LITC's "All Yesterdays Contest Gallery" ( http://chasmosaurs.blogspot.com/2013/04/all-yesterdays-contest-gallery.html ) includes my entry. I originally wasn't gonna enter any of the All Yesterdays contests given 1) my unrealistic style, & 2) my lack of artistic skill w/scientific accuracy. I generally avoid drawing real animals (especially those blameless, holy creatures known as dinos ;) ) for the same reasons as I just don't feel worthy. However, I was then reminded of LITC's contest rules. When that was combined w/the urge to put my ideas on paper, I decided to make an exception.

Now, for the entry itself. Of the 2 forms of anting (See the Editor quote), I figured the former was more likely given the facts that 1) alvazersaurids had long necks & short arms, & 2) alvazersaurids were probably seeking out ants for food, anyway. The alvazersaurid is generic, based loosely on Linhenykus ( http://www.desksketch.com/2012/07/24/it-is-a-linhenykus/ ), which lived in the Gobi region during the Late Cretaceous. The color scheme of the alvazersaurid is based loosely on a combination of the Northern Flicker (an insect-eater like Linhenykus) & the Scaled Quail (a ground-runner like Linhenykus), both of which live in the Nebraska Sand Hills & are known to ant (See the Viegas quote for why the Nebraska Sand Hills).
Quoting Editor ( http://www.birds.com/blog/anting-behavior-in-birds/ ): "Anting can take on different forms. Some birds will pick up ants in their beaks and rub the ant over their feathers, after which they eat the ant; while others will open their wings and lie down over an active anthill and allow ants to climb up onto them. But it does seem that one part of anting remains consistent: birds prefer using ants that produce formic acid. Ants use the formic acid their bodies produce as a defense mechanism, which they spray at their attackers, but at the same time provides birds with a certain something that scientists would love to discover."
Quoting Viegas ( http://naturalselectionsinscience.blogspot.com/2009/12/screaming-roadrunner-ran-circles-around.html ): "The presence of so much diverse wildlife in the Gobi region during the Late Cretaceous, along with geological studies, suggests that this area was once similar to the Channel Country of central Australia or to the Nebraska Sand Hills."

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