Fiddly Feathered Dinosaurs – Microraptor
With the new year well under way, time to change one of the banners on the Everything Dinosaur website. Not the easiest of tasks as none of us at the company would describe ourselves as particularly gifted when it comes to photoshop skills. However, we are determined to have a go and after the first few days of January, the “Happy New Year” banner had to go.
The subject for our next banner was to be a forest scene, depicting a feathered dinosaur. We tried to imagine what it would have been like to visit the Liaoning Province of what was to become northern China during the Early Cretaceous.
It took a bit of effort but we were able to secure the image of some forest undergrowth, to this we added the images of two feathered dinosaurs – Microraptor (Microraptor gui). We have tried to depict these two small, bird-like dinosaurs as if they were displaying to each other.
Microraptors Displaying in the Early Cretaceous Forest
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
The picture shows a Microraptor dinosaur model, specifically the Carnegie Collection Microraptor dinosaur, an excellent example of a feathered dinosaur model.
This feathered dinosaur was at least in part arboreal (living in the trees). It was capable of gliding according to some interpretations of the fossil evidence. Microraptor had long feathers on its arms and legs. When spread apart, these would have provided an effective gliding surface, perhaps permitting this little crow-sized animal to glide from tree to tree. The tail was also feathered and it had a plume, presumably to help this little dinosaur steer whilst in flight.
In the dark understorey of the Cretaceous forests, it is possible that many dinosaurs were brightly coloured to help them display to each other. Although very little is known about dinosaur colouration, certainly any fossil material associated with the Microraptor genus does not reveal information about possible colour, Microraptors are generally depicted as colourful creatures and we think they stand out quite well against the dark vegetation.
The model chosen for this scene was the Microraptor replica from the Safari collection, to view the range of models made by this company:
Prehistoric animal models and dinosaur figures: Safari Ltd. Wild Safari Prehistoric World.