Shop More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
March 25, 2009
Image Size
1.7 MB
Resolution
999×769
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
15,326 (3 today)
Favourites
317 (who?)
Comments
73
Downloads
7,728
×
Archaeopteryx - Landing by EWilloughby Archaeopteryx - Landing by EWilloughby
This is the third in a series of feathered dinosaur illustrations for *Agahnim's and my upcoming book on evolution. You can see the first two here and here.

It depicts the famous feathered dino-bird Archaeoptyerx lithographica in its native environment of the tropical Solnhofen, of modern-day Germany. Archaeopteryx was a very small animal, roughly the size of a modern-day pigeon (not including its long, bony tail, a feature not found in extant birds) and lived 150 million years ago in the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic. Archaeopteryx remains one of the best champions of evolutionary theory due to its status as a "transitional" fossil, providing a clear example of an overlap of avian and dinosaurian features.

Though originally thought to be the earliest example of a true bird, Archaeopteryx also has a great deal in common with other theropod dinosaurs, especially deinonychosaurs, and was probably a poor flier. It had many small, sharp teeth, three-fingered hands, a long, bony tail, and lacks a bony breastbone but possesses a large wishbone. Most of the discovered Archaeopteryx fossils clearly show imprints of advanced feathering, including asymmetrical flight feathers on the wings. It also lacks a fully-reversed hallux, indicating that it was probably not capable of perching in the same way that most modern birds are able to do. It was probably more of a climber, glider or a runner than a bird capable of true powered flight.

A lot of work went into this piece, and I'm very grateful for the critiques and help of *Agahnim as well as many of the Gondolendians. Prismacolor pencil on sketchbook paper.
Add a Comment:
 
:icontherealmaestro:
TheRealMaestro Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Sorry, but you need to make a new version of this. The colouration is wrong - [link]
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
That study was performed on a single covert, not the whole fossil. The covert is black, yes, but the coverts on this illustration are black, too. ;)
Reply
:icontherealmaestro:
TheRealMaestro Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Oh.... It sort of looked like the Archaeopteryx had brown and white coverts that were in the bird's shadow ^^;

:+fav: restored.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
They could stand to be a bit darker. I might decide to go over them again at some point.
Reply
:icontherealmaestro:
TheRealMaestro Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
You still did a great job, and I love your feathered dinosaur series. Your Anchiornis is actually my phone's wallpaper ^_^
Reply
:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
absolutely gorgeous! =B
Reply
:iconmelyssathepunkrocker:
MelyssaThePunkRocker Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely work! You captured the motion perfectly. I see you submitted this a couple years ago. You probably already know this but Archaeopteryx is now considered a theropod. I came across this in a peer-reviewed journal and on youtube while researching for my literary review project.
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
Birds are already technically considered maniraptorans, which are theropods, so Archaeopteryx is and always has been considered a theropod. ;) As for its position on the phylogenetic tree, Xiaotingia did indeed dethrone Archaeopteryx as a bird for a while, indicating it was likely a deinonychosaur instead - but a more thorough analysis was published not long after the fact which failed to construct the same tree, and found Archaeopteryx to still be a bird (and indicating instead that Xiaotingia was probably a deinonychosaur). As far as I know the issue isn't entirely conclusive yet, but the whole bird/dinosaur distinction is kind of meaningless anyway imo.

Thanks for the comment though! :)
Reply
:iconmelyssathepunkrocker:
MelyssaThePunkRocker Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, once the similarities start disappearing and the "missing link" traits are seen in both early birds and nearly-bird theropods, it's hard to draw the exact line that distinctly separates the two. It's like trying to decide if orange is red or yellow, haha. (hope that last part makes sense)
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
It makes perfect sense!
Reply
Add a Comment: