Conchoraptor gracilis .
Among the theropods that I draw less frequently, Oviraptorids (and Oviraptorosauria in general) are among the most fascinating coelurosaurs. What amazes me is how much they resemble today’s parrots, especially at the level of the skull. An affinity that seemed even more pronounced when I decided to use the reconstruction by Jaime A. Headden of the oviraptorine Conchoraptor and give it a complete plumage: the resemblance to a lorikeet or a cockatiel is impressive. Because there aren’t any kind of developed cephalic crest, the animal in question seems more than anything else a real parrot also taking into account the dutiful anatomical precautions.
The main difference between this picture and Headden's diagrams lies mainly in the positioning of the nostrils. As shown in the study by Lautenschlager et al. the greater extension of the beak of a large part of the rostrum, especially in the area of the premaxilla, involves a repositioning of some structures, like the nostrils, and a radical change in appearance. In this Conchoraptor such ’ innovation ’ is not so obvious, but in the future I will show you that the research in question involves evident iconographic changes on a large scale.
Like for Teratophoneus and Lythronax, because patience is the key to everything, this reconstruction will be undergoing gradual changes. First of all the plumage: even if I’m ‘able’ to paint scaly or bare skin in a more or less ‘passable’ way, with a thick layer of fur and/or feathers I still can not get the desired results. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of textbooks and online tutorials (I’ve already found some very good ones), and there’s nothing to do except making more and more exercise and practice.
Also, for the first time in my life, the scanning seems to have even improved the original design. I still can not believe it. It will be the usual fluke.
A Conch Plunderer, 2014.
Coloured with Tria Markers and pencils. Acrylics were used for some light effetcs.
Paper size: A4. Made on Letraset’s Bleedproof Marker Pad.
Loosely based on: brown lory and kea.
References: Jaime A. Headden & “Lautenschlager S, Witmer LM, Altangerel P, Rayfield EJ (2013) Edentulism, beaks and biomechanical innovations in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs. PNAS: 1310711110v1-201310711.”
Links: http://ktboundary-smnt2000.blogspot.it/2014/03/a-conch-plunderer.html, http://smnt2000.deviantart.com/art/A-Conch-Plunderer-442066832