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Microraptor and Sinornis (recoloured) by Gogosardina Microraptor and Sinornis (recoloured) by Gogosardina
2011, acrylics, photography & digital

120 million years ago, Early Cretaceous (Aptian), Jiufotang Formation, Liaoning, China

In the branches of a gingko, the 4-winged dromaeosaur Microraptor gui pounces on an enantiornithine bird (Sinornis santensis). Briefly losing balance as it clutches the screeching avian, the dinosaur feels around with it's clawed foot to gain a secure purchase before finishing off it's victim with a bite to the head.

A fossil skeleton of Microraptor was described in 2011 showing the partially arcticulated remains of a tree-dwelling enantiornithine in it's tummy. This not only provided direct evidence of Micro's predatory habits, but was viewed as corroborating the idea of an arboreal lifestyle for this dinosaur.

Artwork originally published in: O'Connor, Jingmai; Zhou, Zhonghe and Xu, Xing Xu. Additional specimen of Microraptor provides unique evidence of dinosaurs preying on birds. PNAS November 21, 2011

UPDATE 29/05/2012: Microraptor is recoloured with modifications to the caudal rectrices based on data provided in: Quanguo Li et al. (2012) Reconstruction of Microraptor and the Evolution of Iridescent Plumage. Science Vol. 335 no. 6073 pp. 1215-1219.
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:iconvorseth:
Vorseth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dino at the beach! by Vorseth   Hey Mate you inspired me, Check out mine :)
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:iconaspidel:
aspidel Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Among the best restorations of Microraptor I've ever seen. In the 3 top ones anyway IMO.
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks... well I had the unfair advantage of having the specimen alongside my desk for almost a whole year.
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:iconaspidel:
aspidel Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, sure... but the specimen is still made of crushed bones and fluff imprints in mudstone (although a beautiful fossil).
But  then, one must flesh it out, bring fluff and feathers, and the life in the eyes, and you did it very well.
Reply
:iconheytomemeimhome:
Heytomemeimhome Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014
What a bird eat bird world, huh?
Reply
:iconthedinorocker:
thedinorocker Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Love at first sight
Reply
:iconthearbl:
TheARBL Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
This is incredibly realistic! It's very hard to tell where the Microraptor and Sinornis end, and where the photograph background begins.
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:iconpatrikia-bear:
Patrikia-Bear Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG. Just what wizardry what even.

IT LOOKS SO REAL. And I know the background is a photo but THE MICRORAPTOR. ASKLDAFL.
Reply
:iconebervalius:
Ebervalius Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible! Sinornis looks very real...
Reply
:icongozer-the-destroyor:
Gozer-The-Destroyor Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
Kitty. :3
Reply
:icondana-ulama:
Dana-Ulama Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012   Digital Artist
microraptor was named "fossil of the year 2006"!
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm curious - what competition was this?
Reply
:icondana-ulama:
Dana-Ulama Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012   Digital Artist
hm... i read it on wiki but its not there anymore... perhaps it was a spectacular fossil discovery for scientists and thats why they namend it fossil of the year.
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:iconsii-kei:
sii-kei Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's as if if I looked outside the window, I could just see the Microraptor jumping through branches chasing little prehistoric birds. Yup, your drawing is that amazing!
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:iconsketchy-raptor:
Sketchy-raptor Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Student General Artist
I love the photomanipulation here, the Microraptor blends perfectly eith the background. Also, are the Sinornis painted or photomanipulated?
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Largely hand-done (head, torso and legs), but photos of a Western Australia thornbill's coverts are incorporated into the wings.
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:iconfractalfiend:
fractalfiend Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
EEEK! You're so freaking good at bringing these critters to life! (Well, they were alive at one point in time ...)
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanking thee!
Reply
:icontacimur:
Tacimur Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*scroll scroll* Oh, bird photograph... wait.
A stunning piece, thank you for sharing it with us! :)
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Was one of those pieces that just kinda came together on its own - wasn't anticipating such a striking final result - at least when I look at my cruddy preliminaries.
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:iconsporemasterhimpo:
SporemasterHIMPO Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist
Wow that is so amazing!
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. Micro is an amazing fossil critter - so he deserved the full treatment.
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:iconnovablue:
novablue Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful work!
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Cheers! May redo the tail fan at some point in the future.
Reply
:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Gorgeous, it has truly been a pleasure to see your career expand in the past few years, and your art progress from good, to great, to just, WOW. I wish in vain for my own reconstructions to come anywhere near as good as yours. But then again, you are a qualified Paleontologist.
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Well, we've all got to start somewhere. But yes, having access to the specimens makes a colossal difference.
Reply
:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Professional General Artist
Great stuff, keep up the good work :)
Reply
:icontoxickittycat:
ToxicKittyCat Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing, stunning
Reply
:iconflyingfox-bat:
FlyingFox-Bat Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this. is. AWESOME!
Reply
:iconfluffyspiderz:
FluffySpiderz Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AH ITS BEAUTIFUL. I'm actually in the process of writing a story about a microraptor named Stella, a cloning experiment for reviving prehistoric animals. This is such a useful reference!
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:icondatorvitae:
DatorVitae Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey thats pretty cool, I looks realistic, my sibling would like this one. :)
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Heck, *I* would like one - although it would probably make a troublesome pet.
Reply
:icondatorvitae:
DatorVitae Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hehehe, I already have some of those,and they are instinct. :)
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:iconsamluvsham:
SamLuvsHam Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist
Awesome
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:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconspanishman:
spanishman Featured By Owner May 29, 2012
how do you know all this?????
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The specimen is in my office!
Reply
:iconspanishman:
spanishman Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
so your are a archeolegust? i know that is spelled wrong but is that correct??
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
No, palaeontologist.
Reply
:iconspanishman:
spanishman Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
o i knew it sounded like that COOL whats it like all i know is from jurasic park and not even real half of it and the rest is from a book i red read i dont know but it was from 1960 it was falling apart
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:iconmrjmzack:
MrJmZack Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is masterfully done!
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:iconplioart:
Plioart Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful picture. very much it is pleasant to me.:)
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely mindblowingly excellently perfectly executed! =)
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. You can imagine my annoyance when the iridescence paper comes out just a few months after slaving away on the original edition. In fact, I'll probably sabotage any attempt at discerning the colouration of Yutyrannus...
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've had the exact same issue (with Anchiornis), so I feel your pain. Wonderful new updated rendition, though!
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Crap! 2 minutes ago Xu Xing just provided me with additional data - Gonna have to modify this reconstruction even further!
Reply
:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah =(
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:iconkihara-quagga:
Kihara-Quagga Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, almost said great shot :lmao:
Love the realistm!!
Reply
:icongogosardina:
Gogosardina Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks - a casual observer accused me of cut and pasting sparrows as the prey items before I told him to look closer!
Reply
:iconkihara-quagga:
Kihara-Quagga Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol! :D
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Submitted on
May 29, 2012
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