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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.
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:icon7908642:
7908642 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  New member 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 :)
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: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!)
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:icon7908642:
7908642 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  New member Hobbyist Artist
Your welcome :) and thankx for the advice.
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:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist
Could a raptor CLimb trees?
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: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.
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:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist
OK interesting
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:iconx-jayleigh-x:
x-Jayleigh-x Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013
awww
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: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.
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: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.
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: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.
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