Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gallimimus by Paul Heaston, revised

On Friday's Mesozoic Miscellany roundup, I included a particularly fetching digital illustration of Gallimimus by Paul Heaston. In the comments on the post, the presence of pennaceous feathers was discussed after Marc inquired as to the reasoning behind their inclusion. Paul had decided to adorn the forearms with pennaceous feathers after seeing that, among other researchers, Dr. Thomas Holtz has classified ornithomimids as maniraptoriformes, and thus it was a plausible move. Seemed so to me, as well. Albertonykus, who has written reams about feathered theropods at Raptormaniacs, had this to say:
Pennaceous wing feathers are known only in aviremigian maniraptors (oviraptorosaurs, deinonychosaurs, and avialians); even therizinosaurs appear to have only had long protofeathers (or plumaceous feathers) on the arms. As ornithomimosaurs weren't maniraptors proper, it looks as though they didn't have pennaceous feathers either, but protofeathers on the arms are deep within the realm of possibility (even probability).

Very nice image regardless; has to be one of my favorite Gallimimus depictions now.

Based on this, here is Paul's revised Gallimimus.

gallimimus revision

This was a little thing, but the kind of little thing that makes me happy. An example of constructive criticism and responsive artistry, an ideal to aim for as science and art proceed into a future made uncertain by the revolution in communication we're living through.


  1. A very lovely Gallimimus indeed.

    It may surprise some to hear that a lot of this sort of thing actually goes on over at, ahem, the Dinosaur Toy Forum. There's an art board there that's worth checking out even if you couldn't give a damn about plastic figures. http://dinotoyforum.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=art

  2. For whatever reason, it seems that it is fairly rare to see dinosaurs depicted with a primarily black and white coloration. But whenever it is done properly (as in this case) it is always very striking.

  3. @Adam: Oh yes indeed. And that has absolutely nothing to do with my love of magpies (and quite monochromatic wardrobe). ;)

  4. I love monochromatic coloration, or at least very simple. One of the pleasures I've had since moving into my current house three years ago is the company of catbirds, who are a beautiful slate gray on their body, grading to black on the head with just a bit of orange on their butt. Gorgeous bird. And the magpies were one of my favorite parts of visiting the UK.

  5. Thanks David for the follow-up post! One of the nice things about working digitally is it's easy to change things. Albertonkus and Marc both know their stuff, so community-based response is a great way of working. Ultimately I need to start a separate blog for my dino work.

    I'm glad people liked the color choices. The initial reference I used was a Caracara, a raptor we occasionally see here in south Texas. I've always thought there were very few all-black or black and white dino depictions as well, but the color scheme is among the most common in nature.

  6. Aside (and wishful thought): I'd love to hear Dr. Holtz weigh in on this.

  7. ^I've seen him comment on this blog occasionally. Could happen!

    Thanks for the shout out! Always good to know when I've done something useful.

  8. Great stuff Paul.

    The simple colour scheme is spot on, I really like the transition from yellows/reds on the head to the black and white.

    The tail fronds are great too. Nothing seems out of place, it looks like a 'real' animal.

    Can I ask if the you were planning to work on the underside of the tail a bit more? It seems a bit plain compared to everything else.

  9. @Optimistic You know, that's another thing I thought about doing. I was thinking of the "naked" underside of ostriches but the colors aren't very satisfying. I may have to go back in at some point.

  10. @Paul, all it might take is to run a little texture through it. The naked ostrich underside makes perfect sense and I definately got the idea from the painting!(so it's working on that level!)


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