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December 25, 2011
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Deinonychus Prey Restraint by EWilloughby Deinonychus Prey Restraint by EWilloughby
This is an illustration based on the new paper by Fowler et al, which discusses a likely possible method of predation by Deinonychus and other dromaeosaurs (the "raptor prey restraint" model, or RPR). This excellent publication is available free to download. It suggests that the unique foot morphology of dromaeosaurs was an adaptation to take prey in a very similar manner to extant birds of prey: by grasping with the foot claws, digging in with the hypertrophied "sickle" claw, and tightly hanging on to the prey animal as it struggles and thrashes around. The dromaeosaur would then begin to feed on it while it's still alive, until it finally dies from blood loss and organ failure, all the while standing on top of the animal to pin it down (a likely use of the unusually short ankles found in dromaeosaurs) and using primitive flight strokes with its "wings" to maintain balance.

The primary animal of study in the RPR paper is Deinonychus, so that's what I've drawn here. It is shown preying on the basal ornithopod Zephyrosaurus. Though Deinonychus is usually depicted in a dense floodplain environment, here I've reconstructed it amongst some higher-altitude arid North American mountains.

This is my version of a Christmas dinner. :)
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:iconaflahrman:
That is one awesome picture. Can you tell me how you color your dinosaurs because I am horrible at coloring mine so it would really help. (:
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:icongrays-raptor-flock:
Grays-raptor-flock Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

See, before, a giant screeching lizard slices you with a toe and you're dead.  Now, something soundless pounces on you from behind and pierces you with thorn-sharp talons and slowly, bit by bit, bit by bit, you are eaten alive by a giant flightless eagle. 

 

Our perspective of dinosaurs can change so dramatically. 

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:iconthedinorocker:
To cite dr Grant (from jurassic park) "you are still alive when they eat you".
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:icongrays-raptor-flock:
Grays-raptor-flock Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm...
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:icontenorerobusto:
TenoreRobusto Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's quite a gruesome way to feed.  Excellently portrayed.
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:iconiherduleikdragonites:
When people say that feathered dinosaurs are not scary or that dinosaurs are immature, I show them this.
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:icontheonetruesircharles:
TheOneTrueSirCharles Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow amazing!
At first I didn't notice but its feather coloration and eye color look simular to my Deinonychus, except mine did not have the whitish color instead.
I based my raptor off my hair color. :)
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Mar 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks. :)
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:icontheonetruesircharles:
TheOneTrueSirCharles Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome. :)
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know I think the current view of raptors, as jumping from trees onto their prey, pinning them down with their claws, balancing using their wings, and tearing chunks of meat out from the prey is much cooler than the JP fanboy's raptor. *inb4debate*

Awesome work. :D
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