Things With Feathers is a Tumblr where paleoartist and scientific illustrator Emily Willoughby will post science, illustration, dinosaurs, feathers, fossils, and occasionally a little bit of silliness.

 

Saw a pair of Anchiornis on my hike today!
(Pileated woodpeckers, Sourland Mountain preserve, central NJ. Male on the left, female on the right.)

Saw a pair of Anchiornis on my hike today!

(Pileated woodpeckers, Sourland Mountain preserve, central NJ. Male on the left, female on the right.)

I had literally just been thinking about blue-gray gnatcatchers (and how I hadn’t seen one since last year) when this guy popped up right in front of my face. He talked to me, too! Cute little puffball.

A pair of yellow beauties photographed yesterday in Princeton: Palm warbler (top) and pine warbler (bottom).

Another Fine Feathered Friend from the Cretaceous

I’m on io9 again! Read comments to the article at your own risk… lots of feather-deniers.

cambriancupcake:

dinostuck:

plokool:

dinostuck:

thejunglenook:

drkrislynn:

biologizeable:

I can relate to this on every level

I think you mean why palentologists should always play video games.

Paleontologists should without question play video games

Quick what kind of dinosaur is Yoshi?

Uh

Yoshi is clearly an extremely derived Pseudosuchian

My friend is convinced he’s a Struthiomimus, Nintendo just forgot the feathers:

Bleh

And now it’s time for an incredibly rare personal post that I’ll probably delete later…

How do people manage to accomplish all of the things they want to accomplish? How does anyone have time for all the things they want to do? 24 hours in a day is not enough. Do I need to just learn how to never have to sleep, or cut out every last remaining vestige of a social life?

This is frustrating and I’m not sure I will ever understand how many of the people I look up to manage it.

Scott Hartman has recently released his silhouette of the new Utahraptor reconstruction to Phylopic. Even though the paper hasn’t actually come out yet, Scott gave me permission to upload my own drawing as well, which he has approved as being accurate (at least from a distance - any more subtle anatomy differences would be likely hidden by feathers). Clearly, the new material will completely revamp our perception of what this animal looked like and probably how it behaved as well. Note the downturned jaw with its procumbent teeth and the much shorter limbs and tail. I’ve heard people say the new material makes Utahraptor “ugly”, but I don’t see ugly, I just see very, very strange - like an “ostrich bulldog”, to use Kirkland’s words.Hopefully we’ll see the paper out soon. I don’t know much detail beyond what you see here, so I’m as excited as the rest of you. And now to let the ecological speculation on what it was actually doing with that weird jaw and extra-short limbs begin!

Scott Hartman has recently released his silhouette of the new Utahraptor reconstruction to Phylopic. Even though the paper hasn’t actually come out yet, Scott gave me permission to upload my own drawing as well, which he has approved as being accurate (at least from a distance - any more subtle anatomy differences would be likely hidden by feathers). 

Clearly, the new material will completely revamp our perception of what this animal looked like and probably how it behaved as well. Note the downturned jaw with its procumbent teeth and the much shorter limbs and tail. I’ve heard people say the new material makes Utahraptor “ugly”, but I don’t see ugly, I just see very, very strange - like an “ostrich bulldog”, to use Kirkland’s words.

Hopefully we’ll see the paper out soon. I don’t know much detail beyond what you see here, so I’m as excited as the rest of you. And now to let the ecological speculation on what it was actually doing with that weird jaw and extra-short limbs begin!

starborn-vagaboo:

Have a Tufted Raptit!

The latest in Ceylon’s line of deinonychosaurs-as-modern-birds. There is something truly magical about a dromaeosaur combined with a tufted titmouse.

starborn-vagaboo:

Have a Tufted Raptit!

The latest in Ceylon’s line of deinonychosaurs-as-modern-birds. There is something truly magical about a dromaeosaur combined with a tufted titmouse.

paleoillustration:

Mark Witton uses SHERLOCK for scale. Arambourgiania philadelphiae WAS ALMOST 3 SHERLOCKS TALL!, LOOK!:

(Serious description here)

I love that this scale chart was actually published in a paper. He got his height exactly right, too (1.83m). 

paleoillustration:

Mark Witton uses SHERLOCK for scale. Arambourgiania philadelphiae WAS ALMOST 3 SHERLOCKS TALL!, LOOK!:

(Serious description here)

I love that this scale chart was actually published in a paper. He got his height exactly right, too (1.83m). 

ewilloughby:

Phylopic.org, owned and maintained by T. Michael Keesey, is an amazing website whose goal is to accumulate as many reusable silhouette images as possible of every organism on planet Earth. These images can be submitted by anyone and are free for anyone to use on presentations, projects, and artworks with appropriate credit.

But the really cool thing about Phylopic is its phylogenetic database. Its Python-based framework stores accurate phylogenetic data for every organism, so you can view a full phylogeny for any organism as many levels back as you want. As long as images are available for the taxa you’re searching, this can result in beautiful evolutionary sequences like the one above showing the evolution of Homo sapiens.

This project is incredibly useful to researchers, students, artists and laymen alike, and needs to be supported! The creator is now selling this gorgeous t-shirt (definitely the most accurate “evolutionary sequence” t-shirt available anywhere) in order to cover costs of web hosting. Please considering purchasing one or spread the word!

Signal boost!

—> https://www.booster.com/phylopic-hosting <—

Reblogging again to signal boost this and to include a new blog post by the owner of Phylopic that details the identity of every silhouette used on the shirt design. http://3lbmonkeybrain.blogspot.com/2014/03/deeper-dive-on-phylopic-t-shirt.html

Remember to buy a shirt or spread this around to support this awesome resource! 

I posted the original version of this ages ago, but I&#8217;ve recently reworked it quite a bit and I think the newer version is a major improvement. Details, lighting, vibrance, and color balance have all been improved, and it&#8217;s not quite as dull and dark as it was before. This is probably my absolute favorite piece of my own paleoart at this point. I hope Tumblr likes it too!

This is a life restoration for Xing et al 2013 of the tiny, iridescent four-winged dromaeosaur Microraptor eating a fish, the osteoglossiform Jinanichthys, near a swampy Jehol pond. The illustration is based on a new specimen described as having the skeletons of 3-4 of these fish preserved in its gut. This study is important because it demonstrates that Microraptor was probably a generalist predator, capable of preying on on a wide variety of small animals. Previous specimens have been found with evidence of a scansorial mammal as well as an enantiornithine bird preserved in the gut, but this is the first instance of Microraptor stomach contents that takes it out of the trees by necessity and places it on the ground, near water.The illustration incorporates a lot of research. The iridescent color of the animal is modeled after the Li 2012 color study on a Microraptor specimen, which detected fossilized melanosomes consistent with the iridescent black in some modern birds. The two long tail feathers were not preserved in this specimen, so were left off by request of the authors. The manner with which the Microraptor is grasping the fish is based on the Fowler 2011 study on dromaeosaur prey restraint, which analyzed the pes and leg proportions of deinonychosaurs and found them to be extremely similar to those of modern birds of prey, indicating that the animals likely grasped smaller prey with its feet while tearing at it with its mouth. The plant life in the background is modeled entirely after known plant fossils from the Jiufotang and Yixian formations, including the aquatic seed plant Archaefructus and the eudicot Leefructus, as well as the ever-present Ginkgo apodes. The nearby pond sports an algae bloom, a phenomenon that was probably quite common in early Cretaceous ponds, as blooms are often caused by falling volcanic ash.

I posted the original version of this ages ago, but I’ve recently reworked it quite a bit and I think the newer version is a major improvement. Details, lighting, vibrance, and color balance have all been improved, and it’s not quite as dull and dark as it was before. This is probably my absolute favorite piece of my own paleoart at this point. I hope Tumblr likes it too!

This is a life restoration for Xing et al 2013 of the tiny, iridescent four-winged dromaeosaur Microraptor eating a fish, the osteoglossiform Jinanichthys, near a swampy Jehol pond. The illustration is based on a new specimen described as having the skeletons of 3-4 of these fish preserved in its gut. This study is important because it demonstrates that Microraptor was probably a generalist predator, capable of preying on on a wide variety of small animals. Previous specimens have been found with evidence of a scansorial mammal as well as an enantiornithine bird preserved in the gut, but this is the first instance of Microraptor stomach contents that takes it out of the trees by necessity and places it on the ground, near water.

The illustration incorporates a lot of research. The iridescent color of the animal is modeled after the Li 2012 color study on a Microraptor specimen, which detected fossilized melanosomes consistent with the iridescent black in some modern birds. The two long tail feathers were not preserved in this specimen, so were left off by request of the authors. The manner with which the Microraptor is grasping the fish is based on the Fowler 2011 study on dromaeosaur prey restraint, which analyzed the pes and leg proportions of deinonychosaurs and found them to be extremely similar to those of modern birds of prey, indicating that the animals likely grasped smaller prey with its feet while tearing at it with its mouth. The plant life in the background is modeled entirely after known plant fossils from the Jiufotang and Yixian formations, including the aquatic seed plant Archaefructus and the eudicot Leefructus, as well as the ever-present Ginkgo apodes. The nearby pond sports an algae bloom, a phenomenon that was probably quite common in early Cretaceous ponds, as blooms are often caused by falling volcanic ash.
rhamphotheca:

Who Was The Snuggliest Dinosaur of All (1)
by Brian Switek
… If I had the opportunity to huddle with a non-avian dinosaur, I’d pick Sciurumimus. This 150 million year old dinosaur is only known from a juvenile specimen that measures a little more than two feet long, and what makes the fossil of this “squirrel mimic” so remarkable are remnants of filamentous protofeathers preserved alongside the bones.More fluffy than feathery, Sciurumimus could have nestled in a fashion similar to the sleeping pose that Mei shows. Provided that I didn’t lose any fingers to those toothy jaws, Sciurumimus would be a splendid dinosaur to snuggle…
(read more: Laelaps blog - National Geo)
illustration by the amazing Emily Willoughby

rhamphotheca:

Who Was The Snuggliest Dinosaur of All (1)

by Brian Switek

… If I had the opportunity to huddle with a non-avian dinosaur, I’d pick Sciurumimus. This 150 million year old dinosaur is only known from a juvenile specimen that measures a little more than two feet long, and what makes the fossil of this “squirrel mimic” so remarkable are remnants of filamentous protofeathers preserved alongside the bones.More fluffy than feathery, Sciurumimus could have nestled in a fashion similar to the sleeping pose that Mei shows. Provided that I didn’t lose any fingers to those toothy jaws, Sciurumimus would be a splendid dinosaur to snuggle…

(read more: Laelaps blog - National Geo)

illustration by the amazing Emily Willoughby

rhamphotheca:


Who Was The Snuggliest Dinosaur of All (2)
Don’t adopt a Deinonychus. Seriously…
by Brian Switek
… Enfluffled theropods are a softer set of candidates. But caution is still needed. You wouldn’t want to end up as a red smear being preened from the fuzz of the 30-foot-long Yutyrannus or have your family come home to find you eviscerated by the Deinonychus that seemed like the perfect birthday present. Small and fluffy are key characteristics here, and, fortunately, paleontologists have found an array of little theropods that would be suitably cuddlesome.…
(read more: Laelaps blog - National Geo)
illustration by the amazing Emily Willoughby

rhamphotheca:

Who Was The Snuggliest Dinosaur of All (2)

Don’t adopt a Deinonychus. Seriously…

by Brian Switek

Enfluffled theropods are a softer set of candidates. But caution is still needed. You wouldn’t want to end up as a red smear being preened from the fuzz of the 30-foot-long Yutyrannus or have your family come home to find you eviscerated by the Deinonychus that seemed like the perfect birthday present. Small and fluffy are key characteristics here, and, fortunately, paleontologists have found an array of little theropods that would be suitably cuddlesome.…

(read more: Laelaps blog - National Geo)

illustration by the amazing Emily Willoughby