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Yixian forest floor scene WIP by ornithischophilia Yixian forest floor scene WIP by ornithischophilia
Two Jeholosaurus chill out on the forest floor of what would become the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation in Liaoning, China.

In researching this scene, I've learned a lot about the angiosperms found in these sediments. They're kind of weird. The supposed most basal angiosperm, Archaefructus, is found here, and has recently been interpreted as an aquatic plant with erect stems and leaves that stick out of the water like cattails. The flowers (or flower?) are on the end of the stem with multiple male flowers (or just stamens?) in the outer whirl and multiple female flowers (or many many pistils?) at the tip. There aren't any bracts within the structure, or petals, or sepals.

Also found here (and illustrated trailing on the ground) is a (probably) bona fide buttercup, Leefructus. Buttercups are basal eudicots (meaning they're not especially "primitive" angiosperms), and their presence here hints at even older angiosperms.

Another angiosperm is something called Archaemphora which is supposedly a pitcher plant. It's leaves do resemble those of pitcher plants (kind of), but they're really small and aranged spirally around an errect stem (meaning that nectar could pour out and insects could walk out), and pitcher plants are exclusively found in the new world, and pitcher plants are deeply nested within Ericales (which makes them not "primitive" angiosperms at all) and it just feels way too early.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Student General Artist
"Here we describe a new basal neornithischian dinosaur... varied integumentary structures were found directly associated with skeletal elements... simple filamentous feathers, as well as compound feather-like structures comparable to those in theropods... scales along the distal
tibia and on the foot closely resemble the secondarily-appearing pedal scales in extant birds. More surprisingly, dorso-ventral movements of the tail were prevented by large imbricated scales on its dorsal surface."

So it turns out that you are psychic. You shouldn't have removed the big scales from the final version!
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:iconornithischophilia:
ornithischophilia Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Uhh.... I'm not psychic. And this isn't that animal (although that animal is supposedly a jeholosaurid). Plus, I thought those scales were pretty uggo.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeah I wasn't implying this was that animal. You just got baso-ornithopod integument almost 100% correct (as suggested by the abstract, anyway) independently. I thought that was pretty neat.
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:iconornithischophilia:
ornithischophilia Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Well, again, I'm *not* a psychic :-)
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very cool, especially the unconventional integument!
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:iconornithischophilia:
ornithischophilia Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I've revised it a bit in the final version, no big scales, but "segmented" like a rat or an American opossum.
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:iconmarcoornithodira:
marcoornithodira Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Cute :)
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:iconornithischophilia:
ornithischophilia Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Cutest ever.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Odd mixture of fuzz and osteoderms you don't see too often.
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:iconornithischophilia:
ornithischophilia Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
They're not osteoderms, but instead large midline scales or scutes on a pebbly scaled tail. I think there'll be more paleontographical experimentation once people finally embrace fuzzy hypsis.
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September 6, 2013
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