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Utahraptor: Concept by sugarpeep Utahraptor: Concept by sugarpeep
This is a piece I've been working on for a while. We've been talking about the origin of birds in my ornithology class so I thought this would be fun. (It also irks my proff.) Anyone who wants to argue with me over anatomy can send their questions to Robert Bakker. I don't wanna hear any shit about JP pollution because it wasn't a factor.

I decided that this has to go into traditional because the only digital part of it is the coloration of the traditional raptor. 1/4 of it is digital leaving the majority 3/4th as traditional.

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chaoswolf1982 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I still say feathered raptors look like misshapen poultry.
sugarpeep Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't remember where I saw it.. but hey found a raptor fore-arm bone with notches in it for feathers just like modern birds have. Of course, when I drew this, they hadn't found it yet, so my feather anatomy is a bit off.. but you get the idea ;)
chaoswolf1982 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
True, but they have not found such feather-markers (the proper term is quill-knobs) on all dromaeosaurs, only the smaller ones like Velociraptor and Microraptor - the larger species like Utahraptor and Deinonychus are yet to be found possessing these quill-knobs.

While lacking them is not a hard-and-fast sign the species was featherless - flamingoes lack quill-knobs, for example, yet are still feathered - the only definite proof of feathers is the presence of such structures; to claim a species has feathers without proof is purely speculative and without proof. So, personally, until they find direct evidence Deinonychus and the other larger dromaeosaurs had feathers (not simply ridges of spiny quills/fringes for display/communication purposes) I will continue seeing them as unfeathered lizards.

This is not a slight on your art, mind you, simply my opinion.
Darth-BobCat Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2005
I'd question the feathered one. From what I understand, feathers on dinos would be mainly for insulation and display. Something as big as a Utahraptor doesn't really need much insulation, particularly in what I understand its environment to be, and I think that any display feathers would be more localized, like the crest. Of course, I could be entirely wrong. Nice pic, regardless.
Dantheman9758 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It would make more sense that all dromaeosaurs were nearly fully feathered, no matter what size they were, it's in their genetic common ancestry, and there is no known significant evolutionary pressures that would have forced the Utahraptor or it's ancestors to pass on "featherless" genetics, after such a complicated structure had already formed. Size isn't a good enough reason at all, even modern large flightless birds that live in tropical areas, or desert aren't bald, they need the feathers as insulation (insulation works both ways remember?) or protection from the elements (and of course display). And remember, Utaharaptor is larger than other raptors, but it still isn't a "huge" animal relative to other families of dinosaurs.

Think of dromaeosaurs like birds not dinosaurs, and than think about our modern birds today. Presently there are no bald giant flightless birds. Even elephant birds and moa's were fully feathered, both lived in warm climates, and both grew large enough to thermo-regulate based on size alone.... but just because a creature has the mere possibility to thermo-regulate without a covering of insulation, doesn't mean that evolution would force it, or pressure it to get rid of it's complicated genetic predisposition to be covered in feathers.

SO my point is basically to counter your logistics of "Something as big as Utahraptor doesn't really need much insulation"

Evolution isn't a super efficient equation, and just because a creature doesn't "need" something, doesn't mean it suddenly won't have it anymore. I think that Utahraptor is far to closely related to other feathered dromeosaurs to just be featherless.

eeesh this response is longer than I expected... I hope you don't mind my long ass lecture! So just to lighten up the heavy text a bit I will throw in the classic "but still, you might be right because we may never know for sure" :)
jadewolf926 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007
Thank you for this. So many people get hung up on size relative to thermoregulation, that they forget about evolutionary predispositions. It's enitrely possible that even T. rex had a full body of feathers as an adult (take a look at its feathered ancestors), but every time I bring it up, I get spammed with, "But it was big!" Well folks, flightless cormorants still dry out their wings ;)

As you mentioned, modern ratites ar large and are still feathered. Emus, with full body, heavy feathering can tolerate temperatures upwards of 115 F. They can also tolerate temperature below 0 F. Having feather doesn't automatically mean it's going to overheat in a warm climate. Different feathers for different purposes. Beside that, we are talking protofeathers, not fully formed contour feathers, which were developed for flight.

Babble, babble, babble. Sorry, just happy to see someone else who doesn't auto-default to, "It was big, so it didn't have feathers."

It's certainly a valid argument, I'm just sick of people using it to rule out any chance of large theropods (especially maniraptorans) having feathers.
sugarpeep Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm.. you have a very good point. No, I'd say I have to agree with the localization of the feathers. I mostly did the whole body as kind of a contrast.
Dantheman9758 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And now for the advanced critique that was encouraged! hehe.

FIRST, I love the feathered pattern you used, and its definitely a plus that you didn't forget the beak! overall you did an excellent job with this, the only thing I would have done differently are the hands and arms. Therapod hands pointed inward, facing eachother, they did not face downward, but not many people know that because all the old illustrations or movies always show it wrong as well so definitely don't feel discouraged, like i said, you did excellent and I'm glad you did a feathered and unfeathered version!
sugarpeep Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
So I saw a special about theropods the other day and thought of you. :) They found feather notches on the ulna of a velociraptor. Feathers ahoy!
Rebmakash Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2005
Beautiful stuff, and I applaud both the great marker use and well, tthe subject matter! ;)
scruffyzero Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2005  Professional Digital Artist
Now you just need something in there for scale....!
SaraMoon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2005
I like it! Turned out very nice! You must teach me! *rolls*
sugarpeep Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
I will I will I will. I just have to not work. :(
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Submitted on
February 14, 2005
Image Size
317 KB


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