This is Emily Willoughby's tumblr. I am an illustrator and huge featherbrain, and my blog is for science, illustration, dinosaurs, feathers, fossils, and occasionally a little bit of silliness.
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.