Painting

Microraptor GUI: A Four-Winged Feathered Dinosaur

Emily Willoughby

Microraptor GUI: A Four-Winged Feathered Dinosaur by Emily Willoughby

“Paleoart” is the practice of accurately restoring extinct animals from the remains of their fossils in illustration or sculpture. This painting depicts the tiny, four-winged feathered dinosaur Microraptor in its Cretaceous environment of what is now Liaoning, China. Though 125 million years old, we know an extraordinary amount about this animal: we know that it was fully feathered from multiple fossils showing fine-grain imprints, we know that it was glossy black from the pigment organelles preserved in its fossils, and we know that it ate fish, from fossilized gut contents. This illustration was made to accompany Xing et al 2013.

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