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February 15, 2013
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Velociraptor and Protoceratops by T-PEKC Velociraptor and Protoceratops by T-PEKC
A couple of everyone’s favorite “swift-thieves” (Velociraptor mongoliensis) and one angry Protoceratops andrewsi, doing their everyday business, fighting the harsh environment of Gobi (paleo)desert, some ~75 million years ago (Campanian, Later Cretaceous).

This is my fifth entry for “All Your Yesterdays” contest. Ironically this was the first concept I was going to explore for the contest more than month ago, but it has been constantly pushed back because of what I considered “better ideas, more in the vein of the contest”. Up until now (“now” is not used literally because I worked on this drawing for almost two weeks). I’ve tried to make this work speculative/unusual in several ways, combining various rarely depicted or speculative behavior types as well as speculative anatomical features.

Here Velociraptor is shown to form mate couples, in which the female is bigger than the male and is more active in gathering food, as it’s the case with many modern raptorial birds. The sexual dimorphism is slightly expressed, with male having more elaborated tail-fan. Although Velociraptor does not pose obvious adaptations for climbing, it was probably able to perform such actions, not only because its ancestors were arboreal or partly arboreal animal, but because many animals can climb threes without specialized anatomical features for this. If Velociraptor was able to climb trees, then why not taking its prey/meal up there too? Some modern animals, like the African leopard, take their prey on threes to eat it undisturbed by other (usually bigger) meat-eating animals. Considering the difficult life in the desert, where the food resource is limited, and most of the animals are more or less omnivorous, it would be advantage to take your prey to safer place. It makes sense for Velociraptor to have had this behavior, considering the rest of the contemporary fauna which consisted of bigger and probably dangerous animals. The male Velociraptor is depicted to pluck injured/dead covert feathers, a behavior rarely used in paleoart.

Protoceratops was among the biggest animals in its environment and considerable opponent for any Velociraptor. As seen from fossil evidence both animals engaged in deadly fights, though it’s reasonable to assume in most cases it was not the dromaeosaurid to win these fights. In this artwork an angry male Protoceratops is chasing the female Velociraptor, because of her attack on his offspring. The outlook of Protoceratops is speculative, with many keratinous scutes and horn-like structure on the skull and frill. The body integument is restored after available data for Psittacosaurus and Triceratops (not published). The small filamentous structures on animal’s torso are speculative.

The flora depicted in this drawing is probably anachronistic, and would make any paleobotanist cry. In my defense I can only say that I did try to find papers on Nemegt formation paleoflora, but the searching was infertile. Thus I decided to base the plant life on that of modern Gobi desert. The tree is loosely based on Haloxylon ammodendron, and the small shrubs are just generic shrubs.

References:

Mayr, G., D. S. Peters, G. Plodowski, O. Vogel. 2002. Bristle-like integumentary structures at the tail of the horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus.- Naturwissenschaften, 89, 361-365.

Paul, G. S. 2010. The Princeton field guide to dinosaurs.- Princeton University Press. (referenced for the skeletal drawing of Protoceratops)

Turner, A. H., P. J. Makovicky, M. A. Norell. 2007. Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor.- Science, 317, 1721.

Scott Hartman :iconshartman: is referenced for his skeletal drawing of Velociraptor.
Add a Comment:
 
:icontarbosaurusbatar:
TarbosaurusBatar Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing work!
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014
Thank you!
Reply
:icon7908642:
7908642 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Beauty, true beauty. I don't see how some of you are soooooo skilled in drawing these types of pics, but anyway they are impressive :)
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
Thank you! Skills develop after years of practicing and experience, so the key to improvement is a lot of drawing and painting. (and in the case of paleoart, a lot of learning too!)
Reply
:icon7908642:
7908642 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Your welcome :) and thankx for the advice.
Reply
:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Could a raptor CLimb trees?
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
Animals can do many things even if they don't seem to be adapted to perform such activities. Some of the earlier and more basal dromaeosaurus, like Microraptor, were arboreal animals. Anyway, what's shown on this drawing is speculative and was all described in the Artist's comment below the artwork. Please take time and read to know which part of the drawing is speculative and which not.
Reply
:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OK interesting
Reply
:iconx-jayleigh-x:
x-Jayleigh-x Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
awww
Reply
:iconhellraptor:
Hellraptor Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you think a full grwon velociraptor could kill a human even though they were not as big and strong like in Jp.I think they could. Not by ripping you to shreds but biting the jugluar, clawing and use the killerclaw to pierce vital areas like the belly or the back.
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Yes, I think that a fully grown Velociraptor is capable of killing human sized prey, if it be a chance decide to attack one. If an eagle, falcon or hawk is capable of killing humans (even if it's not intentionally), then I don't see a problem with Velociraptor doing the same. Even if it's only turkey sized animal its claws are still serious weapons which can easily puncture major blood-vessels (like the jugular vein of the femoral artery), as you said. Even small animals can be dangerous if provoked.
Reply
:iconhellraptor:
Hellraptor Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So peopld should nor underetamate it just because its smaller. A swan for example is dangerous, the only thing that might stop it from killing you is that it lack a sharp beak and claws aswell. One velociraptor would be scary to meet, then imgaine a couple or more.
Reply
:iconemiaka:
emiaka Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing! But poor baby dinosaurs :(
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
Thanks!

Unfortunately this is what happened to many baby dinosaurs. Carnivores usually pick on the easiest prey.
Reply
:iconsusiron:
Susiron Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Holy shit the detain in this is stunning
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
Thanks!
Reply
:icondinodanthetrainman:
dinodanthetrainman Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful work I love the Protoceratops:)
Reply
:icondinodanthetrainman:
dinodanthetrainman Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful work I love the Protoceratops :)
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icondinodanthetrainman:
dinodanthetrainman Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your very welcome
Reply
:iconbalaur99dennonychus:
Balaur99Dennonychus Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
I like your overall design, especially the collar and the quills of the Protoceratops. The only thing I don't fully square is the muzzle of raptors (perhaps a bit 'too short for the genus Velociraptor). Both from this that the cranial features of Protoceratops it seems that the two species are P. hellenikorhinus and V. osmolskae, and not the more typical P. andrewsi and V. mongoliensis, am I right?
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Thank you for the indepth comment! :)

The depicted species are the typical Nemegt Formation species Protoceratops andrwesi and Velociraptor as I stated in the artist's comment under the drawing. I gave my Protoceratops speculative keratinous horns and pointed scales on the face and snout, which probably make it looks like P. hellenikorhinus but it's not. I think the length of Velociraptor's snout is fine and don't see problem with it. It may look proportionally different because of the feathers but the skull's proportions beneath them are very closely based on the references I've used. Also keep in mind that both raptors have their heads more or less in 3/4 view, and not simple side-view as in skeletal drawings. This can change proportions too.
Reply
:iconcetaceaphile:
Cetaceaphile Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Forgot about you, though I was sure I watched your account at some point :L

I remember you posting things on JPL forums years back, I see you've improved quite a bit!
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Thank you!:)

You say you know me from JPL, I still post there from time to time, but I can't recall knowing you. Some of your art looks distantly familiar to me, but other than this your username does not ring a bell.
Reply
:iconcetaceaphile:
Cetaceaphile Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I used to go by Leeham991

Last time I visited JPL must be nearly 5 years ago now
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
Ah, it makes sense now. I remember your old DeviantArt account (as well as the JPL one), but didn't know you have made a come-back here. Good to hear from you again. :)
Reply
:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Your babies? No, we don't have your babies..." :P

Well done!
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Thanks!
Reply
:iconlmomjian:
Lmomjian Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the textures on the animals' skins
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Thank you! I've spent a lot of time working on these textures.
Reply
:iconlmomjian:
Lmomjian Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can tell ;-)
Reply
:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Artist
Awesome work!:dance:
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student Artist
Your welcome:)
Reply
:iconguilmon182:
guilmon182 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is just gorgeous! If only they would look this way Jurassic Park IV!
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Thank you! And we can always hope for this, right?
Reply
:iconneranella:
Neranella Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Amazing artwork. :wow:
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconneranella:
Neranella Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
:D
Reply
:iconkaiyaru:
Kaiyaru Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
страхотна рисунка с невероятни детайли! :clap:
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Благодаря! :)
Reply
:iconkaiyaru:
Kaiyaru Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
моля. :meow:
Reply
:iconveloxirunner:
Veloxirunner Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great, you did it!
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Thanks!
Reply
:icondrakonial:
Drakonial Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
This looks amazing! And it's nice to see the classic Velociraptor/Protoceratops antagonism showcasing something more than fighting dinosaurs.
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Thank you!

Fighting Velociraptor vs. Protoceratops is a classic, but in the end not all ibdividuals of those two species were engaged in mortal combat, like the famous fossil. Glad to know people are appreciating the change. :)
Reply
:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really great, love these depictions with dromeosaurids climbing trees and such, rarely seen in paleoart but, considering their evolutionary history, very possible!

Just one nitpick, and not regarding your restoration in particular... Why many paleoartists, when it comes to feather the snout of these guys, usually stop just before the nose (around the anteorbital fenestrae) and not give 'em an entirely feathered snout?
Dromies didn't have beaks, as far as i know, so i guess the possibilites could have been the following:

- naked snout
- feathered snout

Maybe they had short, very short feathers covering their muzzles, thus giving a sort of mammal-esque appearance... Who knows? :)
Reply
:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Thank you! :)

I believe the restorations of deinonychosaurs (and other theropods) with feathers stopping at the posterior side of the antorbital fenestra are based on Gregory Paul's paleoart. I think he's the one (maybe Bakker too) who started reconstructing them this way, and given his influence on the following generations of paleoartists it's no wonder this model is still used today. I've also used it in my older works.

As far as I know the extensity of facial feathery integument vary in the different deinonychosaurian taxa, with some of them having feathers covering everything but the tip of the snout (the Dave specimen), while in others feathers were restricted to more posterior portions of the snout and the anterior part of it is free of feathers and probably covered with scales. Personally I think the way of restoring these dinosaurs with feathers covering the antorbital fenestra is the best way given the evidence we have, especially for carnivorous taxa. Ultimately it depends on the artists to make a choice of how to reconstruct the snout and its integument. I think that Paulian facial integument is still applicable for non-paravian coelurosaurs, if one paleoartist wants to use it.
Reply
:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it seems pretty reasonable, even if i don't always agree with it; i don't know, sometimes i imagine the feathers basically covering all of the snout of a certain theropod, thus giving an almost "mammalian" muzzle.
It's quite likely it varied between species; for example a ground-dwelling dromie could have had a more feather-less snout than his arboreal ancestors or vice-versa!

About Dave, well... In my defense i could say that maybe the lack of feathers on the tip of the snout is a tafonomic artifact ;)
Reply
:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
spectacular drawing.
Reply
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