Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Heyuannia huangi

Copyright A V S Turner 2015

Finally, my family of Heyuannia huangi are ready to make their public appearance, just in time for 2016! Owing to a heavy workload over the past year I have had to spread work on this image over several months, so sadly, the news story that inspired this restoration has since gone a little cold. Still, I am none the less glad to have been able to spend a little more time on this piece than I normally would.
These oviraptosaurids have been modelled on the modern Cassowary, owing to the revelation that these animals laid similar blue/green eggs. Also, except for a broad discrepancy in size, the morphology of the two species are reasonably similar.
I was unable to source any detailed information on the climate of Cretaceous Southern China (which was home to this particular species), but the initial hypothesis  regarding the colouration of the eggs seems to be that this is a form of camouflage, so a green, forested environment seemed appropriate. The Tongaland and Karoo cycads were chosen to accompany the main subjects because these species both emerged within the Mesozoic era and could be found (as far as my research indicates) across Asia and parts of Africa.