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Microraptor zhaoianus by KousaPancakes Microraptor zhaoianus by KousaPancakes
My goal is to create a life restoration of this dinosaur, in its natural habitat as it was before the K/Pg boundary (the mass extinction event that is traditionally seen as the extinction of the dinosaurs).

Microraptor was a four-winged dromaeosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period in Northeastern China. It lived around prehistoric lakes in present-day Jinzhou of the Liaoning province.

Traditionally thought to be nocturnal, Microraptor was iridescent-black like a modern day Grackle. This is a hint that it was active in the daytime and not nocturnal , when considering iridescent coloration in living animals.

The raptor is typically articulated with tail, spine, and head along the same horizontal plane , with legs outstretched almost perpendicular to the torso. My restoration deviates from this traditional view, instead I drew the bones in the position of a modern perching bird, because the back-leg wings would be a hindrance on the ground, also, the distal half of Microraptor's tail is also stiff and almost completely fused. In my restoration Microraptor is perched on a Ginkgo biloba (which is present in the fossil record back 270 million years) in a forest of other gymnosperms and some cycads and tree ferns, amidst the morning fog.

This drawing was actually based on the holotype specimen of Microraptor gui, though newer research suggests all specimens are of a single species, zhaoianus.

I have tried to create this according to the newest research, if anyone would like to share other sources to help me improve its accuracy, please do.

Made in Gimp 2.8.0
I created the brush for the Ginkgo leaves from scratch. All other brushes are stock Gimp brushes.
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Taena-Doman Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That is beautiful.
The-Wild-Soul Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! I'm sorry I didn't get to it in time to add to the featured could you send it again? to DinoCrazed
silvershadoww Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012
Wow, that's awesome! :D
Vollly Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhhh! You are so incredible!
I was even there for most of this and I can't believe how great it turned out. :meow: I think you got the colors just right to achieve that glossy color of today's black birds. I am so excited for more of your recreations! :boogie:
Misbehave Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist
WOW! Danie wasn't kidding, your stuff is amazing!
You did that in Gimp too? Gotta give you major kudos, the detail in shading and anatomy accuracy is just fantastic. @.@
Post more. I stalk and spam with comments. (=
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  • Art Print
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Download JPG 2313 × 3033


Submitted on
June 8, 2012
Image Size
1.1 MB


14 (who?)