Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
March 25, 2009
Image Size
1.7 MB


15,837 (4 today)
320 (who?)
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:
EonOrteaShadowmaster Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Student Writer
A magnificent piece on a fantastic critter!
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you. :)
Mobius89 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
Wow, added to favourites!
Hndz Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2010
those are beautiful colors c:
Imaginary-Shadow Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
Stunning work!!
Spilled-Sunlight Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010  Student General Artist
Love it!! :heart:
Florineil-chan Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010
oh god...
you've just returned me to
the Jurassic period.
Ninjerina Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Student General Artist
nice use of prismacolors looks very clean and your control over them is impressive. good color choices as well
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2009
my favorite part is the form of the two wings, and how the far wing is foreshortened. Very nice.
SizzyBubbles Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great job with the rendition of this creature. I love his tiny little birdy toes.
Add a Comment: