A little Willoughby-like, don’t you think?
I don’t think I’d accuse anyone of ripping her off, this form of hunting is one of the most recently proposed methods of dromaeosaurid hunting. It’s not just her idea.
The prey looks a little too similar to be much else. The posture, too, with the wings and tail.
For what it’s worth, I came across this picture while looking through Emily Willoughby’s favorites on her Deviantart, so apparently she’s cool with it.
Here’s my dumb analysis done for little-to-no reason other than because I could:The images are similar only in having Deinonychus and Zephyrosaurus in them during some point of RPR.
Wongta’s Deinonychus is standing on its prey with only its tarsals, while Willoughby’s Deinonychus has its metatarsals on top of the prey item as well.
The positioning of the body is different as well, with Wongta’s having the head closer to the ground and tail pointing near vertically and Willoughby’s having the the head raised upwards and the tail pointing outwards diagonally.
The feathering’s unique as well, Wongta’s Deinonychus having feathers close to the outline of the body (and what looks like an unfeathered underside) and an angular tail fan that runs all the way up the tail, and Willoughby’s Deinonychus being poofy with a bird-like lack of differentiation between neck and body, and having a rounder tail fan mostly around the end of the tail.
Even the prey’s different in that Wongta’s is pretty much dead, laying limp on the ground, while Willoughby’s is still alive and squirming.
Alright, look. I’m all for artistic license. But sometimes it just gets out of hand.
Exhibit A: this very well drawn
"Theropod dinosaurs had feathers, right? So surely they must’ve been as extensive as birds today! There’s no problem strapping a big coat of feathers onto a 20-foot long creature!" is what I’m guessing might’ve been going through his head. However, there’s a few problems with this picture.
Firstly, Cryolophosaurus is related to Dilophosaurus. Dilophosaurus isn’t included in Tetanurae, the group that includes coelurosaurs, aka tyrannosaurs, compsognathids, maniraptorans, and ornithomimosaurs. The problem with Cryolophosaurus not being included in this group is that the majority of feathered dinosaurs discovered are in this group. Thus, it’s improbable that Cryolophosaurus had feathers.
Now, the other problem is the extent to which this Cryolophosaurus is feathered. It seems to be covered in a big coat of feathers, making it look like a gigantic barn owl. While the thought of a 20-foot long toothy owl is frightening, the thing is, Cryolophosaurus didn’t need these feathers, and certainly not to this extent. I’m not sure if I have it correct, but if I recall correctly larger animals have an easier time retaining heat than smaller animals, hence why they don’t need much insulation like fur or feathers. This is why elephants only have sparse hair and mostly bare skin. Most of the feathered dinosaurs discovered are also quite small, such as Anchiornis who, while being literally covered from head to toe in feathers, was only 2 or 3 feet long.
Also, in case you were wondering, yes, this is in fact drawn by the same person who drew that feathered Tyrannosaurus. He’s definitely a good artist, I won’t doubt that, but a few of his depictions could use a bit of paleontological accuracy.
Maybe, maybe not. A friendly counterpoint follows:
I don’t have the theropod family tree memorized or anything, but apparently recent phylogeny research placed Cryolophosaurus within Tetanurae, making it more closely related to coelorosaurs than to ceratosaurs like Dilophosaurus. Also keep in mind that probable feathered non-coelurosaurs are known (e.g. Sciurumimus and Concavenator). And feathered ornithiscians like Tianyulong suggest that the origin of dinosaur feathers may be much more ancient than previously thought.
Second, the “elephants are bald because they’re big” argument gets thrown around a lot when talking about paleoart, but I’m not sure how much real research backs it up. Mammoths seemed to get along fine with shaggy coats, and contrary to popular depiction they didn’t perpetually live in a world of snow and ice. Ice age summers were apparently quite mild. Also, it’s worth being cautious when applying anything to do with mammals’ superheated metabolisms to dinosaurs, since dinosaurs were probably mesothermic.
Awesome art, by the way.
Do keep in mind that this was written nearly 3 years ago, so not only have my opinions slightly changed, but there’s also more evidence (Yutyrannus alone would’ve nullified the whole “20 foot animals shouldn’t be feathered” thing.)
I’m pretty sure my main point was just that it was just too feathery, compared to something like this hastily made edit: