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Submitted on
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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acepredator Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Scarier than ever before.

What a way to go.
mlplover789 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
incredible, so much detail, and the feathers, they look real.
no offense but if you put darker shades in the feathers and cracks of skin it will look beyond real, it is really intresting.
Glacial23 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish this didn't sound so likely; it must have been a horrible way to die. I feel for that Zephyrosaurus, y'know.
AFlahrman Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
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. (:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner 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. 

acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
I don't know which is worse, the efficiency or the brutality....
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D  Bwah, ha, ha... 
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014
no matter what you think they are, these things keep getting scarier!
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
And scarier and scarier and scarier... Oh, and fluffier!  ;) 
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
And still scarier!
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