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Digging for Dinner by EWilloughby Digging for Dinner by EWilloughby
This is an illustration of a new discovery involving fossilized scratch marks, presumably from the foot claws of a maniraptoran, at the entrance to an ancient primitive mammal burrow.

The scratched-out burrows provide a unique insight into both the behavior and diet of these dinosaurs, which must have occasionally dug out the burrows of their prey, like many modern predators do. This trace fossil was found in Utah and is dated at around 80 million years old, which means the claw marks could belong to several different small dromaeosaurs or troodonts. I've illustrated the dromaeosaur Saurornitholestes here, which was similar in size and anatomy to Velociraptor. The findings were published in the journal Geology.

All of the news articles I've seen describing this finding have included pretty crappy illustrations, so I was inspired to create my own. I may also send it to the authors of the paper.
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:iconbrandon-bowling:
brandon-bowling Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Nicely done. You did a wonderful job on all those detailed feathers.
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing picture! I feel sorry for the mouse! =D
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:iconmugenseiryuu:
MugenSeiRyuu Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
Just like a chicken...seriously, chickens do that aswell, although being smaller, they usually dig for worms and bugs...
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:icontrevelyanl85a2:
TrevelyanL85A2 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010
Very nice job :D
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:iconjd-man:
JD-man Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2010
Quoting yourself: "All of the news articles I've seen describing this finding have included pretty crappy illustrations, so I was inspired to create my own. I may also send it to the authors of the paper."

I concur: you're illustration is WAY better than anything else I've seen having to do w/"this finding". There's just 1 thing that I don't understand: how is it that there are 4 claw marks w/3 close together & 1 far apart? Many thanks in advance.
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:iconfelix-leg:
felix-leg Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aaargh! Why those humongous feathered lizards don't allow a commoner watching TV in his own burrow! :doh:

btw: Isn't this...rat too new?
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:iconaqiil:
Aqiil Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Absolutely Stunning ! :)
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:iconnemonus:
Nemonus Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Haha, of course they scratch just like chickens! I'm not sure it took actual fossil proof to assume that was likely. Very nice picture.
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:iconlanexcyteri:
LanexCyteri Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
very nice
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Excellent!
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:iconkaxanthedragon:
KaxantheDragon Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Student General Artist
That's pretty neato indead. I like the texture of the feathers.
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:iconrestrainedraptor:
RestrainedRaptor Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010   Digital Artist
Saurornitholestes certainly looks more evolved than Ornitholestes does! It was cool to see this in the making as well.
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:iconsontine:
Sontine Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010   Digital Artist
I love raptor-like dinosaurs. Especially since I'm reading Jurassic Park.

Good work!
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:iconsenav:
Senav Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
Keeping in mind that I'm not up to date with the paleontology field, but does this surprise anyone? Modern predators dig out rodents all the time, so if raptors and the like had any brains at all, they'd've figured this out, too.

[obligatory disclaimer stating that I do not know everything, nor do I claim to]
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Professional General Artist
It isn't surprising, but it's always cool when we get "proof" of something like this in paleontology. Until there's fossil evidence for a behavior, it remains speculative.
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:iconsenav:
Senav Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
I can get that.
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:icon5aq:
5aq Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that's my great great great great great great.... great grand-uncle
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:iconmaicreations:
Maicreations Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Really beautiful! :D
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:iconbrandonpilcher:
BrandonPilcher Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010   Photographer
I actually thought this was a Velociraptor when I first saw it! Also, is that grass in the background? Grass did appear during the Cretaceous Period, but I was under the impression that it wasn't terribly common.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
That's right: grasses were fairly new at the end of the Cretaceous, and still pretty rare. But they did exist, and apparently existed in enough abundance to be eaten by dinosaurs and fossilized in their poop. :) I figured a small grassy hillock like this wouldn't have been outside the realm of likelihood for late Cretaceous.

Interestingly, some paleontologists think that Saurornitholestes and Velociraptor may represent the same genus due to their many similarities.
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing work! Such detail! :faint:
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:iconice-or-fire:
ice-or-fire Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Looks great, I like the details!
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:iconraptor85:
Raptor85 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Soo much fantastic extremly well done details!
You ought to be proud of this master piece! :heart:
Great job hun looking as good as ever!
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