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Submitted on
May 23, 2013
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LG Electronics
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May 26, 2013, 4:09:20 AM
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The Perfect Predator by skyvalr The Perfect Predator by skyvalr
This is my third Deinonychus. If raptors weren't actually speed specialists, and evidence for group hunting is circumstantial (although I don't think it's an unreasonable speculation), then what tactics did they hunt with? Their agile build, retractable claws, and flexible joints make inclined to think of them as stealthy, catlike predators that would spring out of the brush and pounce. If they couldn't chase prey over long distances, then they would need to close in striking distance undetected. Thus I speculate that this and they're lightweight build would be ideal for that style of hunting. I redesigned it to look much more toned down than the others, and in a little more of an actual paleo art direction. The plumage is somewhere between a snowy owl and a leopard. I chose speckles because that seems appropriate for a brush or woodland predator. The white is intended to be a winter coat. I fluffed out the neck quite a bit which makes it look oddly short (this makes sense, seeing how many vertebrae are coiled up in the deceptively "short" necks of modern birds). Prismacolor and Ink.
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:iconwynterhawke07:
Wynterhawke07 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I can see Deinonychus and even Utahraptor hunting in the same manner as some species of large cats - hiding in the bushes or perched in a tree and then pouncing - but how would Velociraptor have hunted larger prey then? Mongolia was hardly a woodland even in the Cretaceous Period. 
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:iconskyvalr:
skyvalr Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Admittedly I'm not educated in this field so take anything I say with some salt- but in the case of other dinosaurs, the prey items probably have color vision and may have been tetrachromatic. If dromaeosaurs were not supurb runners like Hollywood suggests, they would need to close in to striking or dashing distance of their prey. This would require some kind of visual cover, like the brush I've shown here, or possibly sand dunes in velociraptor's case, and possible a speckled coat. Or perhaps they could have hunted around dawn or dusk. Again this speculation revolves around the speculation of prey having good vision. Velociraptor may also have preyed on smaller animals like mammals (whom are more adapted to navigate with scent and sound), occupying more of coyote niche. Also, our fossils are a minute sample of greater population, the iconic "fighting dinosaurs" fossil may have just been a fluke.
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:iconwynterhawke07:
Wynterhawke07 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's possible the Velociraptor got caught nest-raiding, rather than the assmption it was hunting the Protoceratops.

One image I saw depicted Deinonychus as behaving similar to leopards, dragging prey into trees to keep it from larger predators.
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:iconskyvalr:
skyvalr Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
The interesting thing about it is that they're legs are so short. There's no truly bipedal mammals that (except us) and the most avian predators are airborne. And living birds that hunt on the ground tend to have very long legs (like road runners or secretary birds). There's really nothing quite like them alive.
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:iconyemayema:
YemaYema Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
nicely done!
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
The detailed colors and patterns of skin and feathers on the face are excellent.
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:iconhvhelmut:
hvhelmut Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student General Artist
It's really cool this drawing
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:iconwhipping-b0y:
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
I think these creatures are adorable, and you draw them well.
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:iconskyvalr:
skyvalr Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks :D
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:iconwhipping-b0y:
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
welcome :D
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