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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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:iconwilliam023:
william023 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015
But I still get a sense that the deinonychus is thoroughly enjoying himself.
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:iconwilliam023:
william023 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015
The deinonychus has a dopy look, but that's a good thing.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015  Professional General Artist
If there's one thing I can tell you from years of patient birding... real animals very often look quite dopey! :D
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:iconwilliam023:
william023 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015
also, red eyes are such a cliche' in paleoart, especially in theropods. lucky this guy has a blue eye.
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:iconwilliam023:
william023 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015
yes, but i still get a sense the deinonychus is thoroughly enjoying himself, there is a look of calmed satisfaction in its eye.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014
Scarier than ever before.

What a way to go.
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:iconmlplover789:
mlplover789 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Professional General 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.
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:iconglacial23:
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.
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:iconaflahrman:
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. (:
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
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. 

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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
I don't know which is worse, the efficiency or the brutality....
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D  Bwah, ha, ha... 
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014
no matter what you think they are, these things keep getting scarier!
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
And scarier and scarier and scarier... Oh, and fluffier!  ;) 
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
And still scarier!
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, and still scarier. 
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
People should compare these things to birds other than chickens.
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:iconthedinorocker:
thedinorocker Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
To cite dr Grant (from jurassic park) "you are still alive when they eat you".
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm...
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:icontenorerobusto:
TenoreRobusto Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's quite a gruesome way to feed.  Excellently portrayed.
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:iconiherduleikdragonites:
iherduleikdragonites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013
When people say that feathered dinosaurs are not scary or that dinosaurs are immature, I show them this.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
They might look less scary but they act in scarier ways.
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:iconnightxenon999:
NightXenon999 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014
Feathered dinosaurs don't look scary but they act scary.
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:icontheonetruesircharles:
TheOneTrueSirCharles Featured By Owner 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 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks. :)
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:icontheonetruesircharles:
TheOneTrueSirCharles Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome. :)
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:iconrajaharimau98:
RajaHarimau98 Featured By Owner 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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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
I think that they could not only leap, but actually glide with wings, so svn if you were away from trees you could still be attacked in that manner.

Not to mention that, for most people, and all people in case of the smaller, faster species, outrunning one is impossible even with the recent studies.
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:icontheonetruesircharles:
TheOneTrueSirCharles Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree!
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:iconanatotitan:
anatotitan Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Excellent depiction of Fowler's hypothesis. The relationship to extant raptors is very strong; I can almost feel how Deinonychus is moving. I like that you've placed the animal in a higher elevation habitat, too.
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:icontyrannosaurusprime:
TyrannosaurusPrime Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Awesome!B-) I LOVED the colors you put on the Deinonychus.:)
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Poor dino! Having your guts pulled out your belly while still (half) alive... =(
Great picture!
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:iconsketchy-raptor:
Sketchy-raptor Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Student General Artist
YAY! Prehistoric violence! I like it!
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:iconmonika36:
monika36 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
your an amazing artist
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconmonika36:
monika36 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
np
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:iconbabbletrish:
babbletrish Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Beautiful!
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:iconbubblekirby:
bubblekirby Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
I wonder if they could use this technique on bigger prey, like a juvenile hadrosaur?
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
If there was more than one, yes.
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:iconteratophoneus:
Teratophoneus Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012
its zephyrosaurus not zepheryosaurus. Youhave an e too much. :)
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
Hah, thanks.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Student General Artist
It also isn't a "hypsilophodontid" because that isn't really a thing. Better off calling it a "zephyrosaur" or just an ornithopod, or basal ornithopod.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
Is this a new thing? I really don't keep up with changes in ornithopod taxonomy as much as I should.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Student General Artist
2009. You can see here: [link]
The Gideonmantellia paper has a different arrangement, but it too few taxa for my liking, and doesn't include Zephyrosaurus anyway.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
Cool. Thanks for letting me know. :)
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:iconteratophoneus:
Teratophoneus Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012
no problem :)
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:iconfatcaiman:
FatCaiman Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is fantastic! I love how you've illustrated this theory. I think it would be very effective for small to medium sized prey. I tend to think that they prey would be killed before eaten though, especially in as large of an herbivore as Zepheryosaurus. At least, to me it looks like it could give the Deiny a good kick to the face if it wanted to, damaging its eyes. I'd assume that most dromaeosaurids wouldn't begin to feed until the prey is dead, or paralyzed. However...I suppose it's possible that they could have made bites to the neck to help kill it, depending on their jaw strength...

Hope you don't mind my rambling there. I do have one small critique. The eye of the Deinonychus looks rather flat and two dimensional, I think this is due to the lack of a strong highlight. I see that you've made a small one, but if you extended that highlight over the pupil, that would really give the impression of a moist, living eye.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks for your input, Naz. :) I changed the eye, do you think it looks any better now?
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:iconfatcaiman:
FatCaiman Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep! It certainly does. :D I know how tricky it can be to add a lot of details to a really small part of the image, like the eye, depending on how big the original file it. :XD:
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:icondurbed:
Durbed Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011
Wow- this looks a lot like my (WIP) interpretation of the paper, only much, much better. Amazing work with the textures and landscape!
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