I posted the original version of this ages ago, but I’ve recently reworked it quite a bit and I think the newer version is a major improvement. Details, lighting, vibrance, and color balance have all been improved, and it’s not quite as dull and dark as it was before. This is probably my absolute favorite piece of my own paleoart at this point. I hope Tumblr likes it too!This is a life restoration for Xing et al 2013 of the tiny, iridescent four-winged dromaeosaur Microraptor eating a fish, the osteoglossiform Jinanichthys, near a swampy Jehol pond. The illustration is based on a new specimen described as having the skeletons of 3-4 of these fish preserved in its gut. This study is important because it demonstrates that Microraptor was probably a generalist predator, capable of preying on on a wide variety of small animals. Previous specimens have been found with evidence of a scansorial mammal as well as an enantiornithine bird preserved in the gut, but this is the first instance of Microraptor stomach contents that takes it out of the trees by necessity and places it on the ground, near water.
The illustration incorporates a lot of research. The iridescent color of the animal is modeled after the Li 2012 color study on a Microraptor specimen, which detected fossilized melanosomes consistent with the iridescent black in some modern birds. The two long tail feathers were not preserved in this specimen, so were left off by request of the authors. The manner with which the Microraptor is grasping the fish is based on the Fowler 2011 study on dromaeosaur prey restraint, which analyzed the pes and leg proportions of deinonychosaurs and found them to be extremely similar to those of modern birds of prey, indicating that the animals likely grasped smaller prey with its feet while tearing at it with its mouth. The plant life in the background is modeled entirely after known plant fossils from the Jiufotang and Yixian formations, including the aquatic seed plant Archaefructus and the eudicot Leefructus, as well as the ever-present Ginkgo apodes. The nearby pond sports an algae bloom, a phenomenon that was probably quite common in early Cretaceous ponds, as blooms are often caused by falling volcanic ash.
Laysan Albatross Practicing Courtship - 02/25/2014
The afternoon for our Laysan albatross nestling started with a quick feed from the male parent Kaluakane. What happened afterwards was a surprise; two banded non-breeding albatross (K405 and K256) were caught on the cam practicing courtship in front of our nestling. An un-banded non-breeder also joins in the dance. This clip shows highlights from the courtship, the entire event continued for almost 30 minutes.
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Night art! I did some weird colouring experiment. Dressing up pokemon is hard. Colouring is hard.
… is an extinct genus of paenungulate mammal related to elephants, sirenians, hyraxes and the extinct desmostylians, as well as to other extinct embrithopods. These species were rhinoceros-like herbivores that lived during the late Eocene and the early Oligocene of northern Africa from 36 to 30 million years ago, in areas of tropical rainforest and at the margin of mangrove swamps. A newly discovered species, Arsinoitherium giganteum, lived in Ethiopia ~27 million years ago…
(read more: Wikipedia)
photo: Aram Dulyan; Illustration: Dmitry Bogdanov
Following up on last week’s new art for Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Maya, Capcom has released new art of Mia, Godot, and Franziska to celebrate the Wright Selection.
We didn’t mention it last time, but these are drawn by Tatsuro Iwamoto, a freelance artist who has handled character art for many of the series’ games. Iwamoto also provided Edgeworth’s Japanese voice back in the days when all that involved was a few “Objection!” sound clips!