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Microraptor Omnivory by EWilloughby Microraptor Omnivory by EWilloughby
Here's my submission to Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs' version of the "All Yesterdays" contest. This version of the contest is differentiated from the original by requiring the artist to illustrate the speculative behavior in a style different from their usual, with a specific emphasis on straying from the hyper-detailed, realistic style that most paleoartists seem to be trying to capture these days. I tried a sort of cell-shaded, pseudo-vector type of look for mine, which I'm sure most of you will notice is very different from my usual fare.

Anyway, this is a little different from most entries to this contest in that while it's speculative, it is something that I genuinely believe is the case (that Microraptor was an omnivore), and I think it's perfectly possible that one of the ~300 undescribed specimens of this animal may preserve plant matter gut contents. Hard to say. In any case, I think that Microraptor has certain features that are consistent with omnivory in maniraptorans, including having somewhat unusual dentition by dromaeosaur standards.

Here I've depicted it munching on a tasty cycad fruit.

I intend to do a more in-depth blog post exploring this concept sometime in the coming weeks. I also hope that my watchers aren't sick of me drawing Microraptors yet... there will be more to come.
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:iconmatt-baen:
matt-baen Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014
Audubon-like naturalism + boldness of Color Field painting = wow.
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:iconpatrikia-bear:
Patrikia-Bear Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Cute! And very well done. :) And of course I'm not sick of Microraptors, I love them as much as you do. :D
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:iconsplat1347:
splat1347 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Me encanta
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This looks very cool.  I like the style in this one. 
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:iconkaileymiller:
kaileymiller Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
So wonderful. I wish you sold your art as prints. I really love the style of this one. You are so versatile; it's wonderful.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you kindly! I do sell prints via a Zazzle store linked from my website. emilywilloughby.com/store :) You find the print of this one here. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to sell the frigatebird as a print, since the rights to it belong to a museum. 
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:iconkaileymiller:
kaileymiller Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
Wow, that is an awesome store! I would love to have one of your prints hanging on my wall sometime in the future. I am in the middle of a move but a print of yours would fit my inspiration space perfectly.
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:iconrsnascimento:
RSNascimento Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
So natural, very vivid composition, your best work so far in my opnion.
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:iconchocolatestarfire:
ChocolateStarfire Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like Microraptors :3
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yay! They like you too. :>
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:iconornitholestes1:
Ornitholestes1 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! Definitely not getting tired of the Microraptors.
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really amazing work, such great colouring and attention to detail. You really captured microraptor in all its glory! :wow:
But aren't cycads and their fruit and seeds extremely toxic? :)
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you!

I think that most extant cycads are toxic to human (unless they've been processed - cycads such as Macrozamia are still eaten by humans, despite being toxic). Plenty of wild animals, though, routinely eat cycads and must have some kind of mechanism to prevent themselves from being affected by the toxins, so I assume the same would be the case in dinosaurs - cycads were so ubiquitous in the Mesozoic, I'm sure they were being eaten!
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah ok, thanks for the heads up! :)
That actually makes alot of sense now.
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:icontarturus:
Tarturus Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Makes sense. I hear the troodontids were omnivores, so it could well be that at least some of the dromaeosaurs were as well.
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:iconsontine:
Sontine Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   Digital Artist
Now this is different, I like it!
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:iconbabbletrish:
babbletrish Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Beautiful!
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:iconsagekorppi:
SageKorppi Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Love the style on this!
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:iconeorhythm:
eorhythm Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You have officially won for best microraptor reconstructions. Now it's just getting gratuitous.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Hah, thanks. They have rapidly become one of my favorite creatures to draw.
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great scene - I like it a lot, Emily!
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:iconlanexcyteri:
LanexCyteri Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
aww always too cute
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:iconshinreddear:
ShinRedDear Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
Reminds me of south-american artists' style. Again, beautifull and great conviction ! ;)
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:iconyoult:
yoult Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Stunning and beautiful. It's not a secret, but you get better with every piece you upload!
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
beautiful
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
A wonderful depiction of this blue feather ball :lol: I especially love the contrast of the cycad fruits to the blue raptor.
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:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Bloody fantastic. Love it!
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:iconabekowalski:
abekowalski Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely wonderful! This belongs on a post card!
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you! That crossed my mind as well, but it's the wrong orientation for one. Maybe a t-shirt or a coaster or something...
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:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
The Microraptor looks amazing! This is probably the best entry for LITC's contest I've seen so far.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks! But I'm very fond of your impressionistic Dimorphodon. Looking forward to seeing all the entries together.
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:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
I like this style as well as your usual.
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
eat ALL the things! :lol:
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