Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Panel One
Ostrom: Hi! I'm Ostrom the Deinonychus!

Panel Two
Ostrom: This is Zahavi the Jinfengopteryx.

Panel Three
Ostrom: And Savape the Archaeopteryx.

Panel Four
Savape: What are you staring at?

Panel Five
Ostrom: You can't hold your wings that way.
Savape: Oh.

Panel Six
Albertonykus: My apologies... I overlooked that fact in my earlier drawings...

In spite of the "theme song", this webcomic isn't going to parody Animaniacs too closely, but sharp-eyed readers might find similarities nonetheless. Also, I have more Animaniacs song parodies in the pipeline.

This webcomic gives me an excuse to revamp some of my maniraptor drawing styles. For example, I used to draw all beakless maniraptors with bare-skinned snouts. Now the feathers reach their snouts, leaving only the tips bare.

A few things to note: Zahavi is meant to be pronounced "zuh-hay-vee" and Savape should be pronounced "suh-vay-pee", so their names rhyme. I originally wanted Savape's name to be Sape, after Sapeornis chaoyangensis, which is in turn named for the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution, but it didn't ring well. In the end I simply took SVP (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) and stuck vowels between that acronym, so it became her name.


  1. "I used to draw all beakless maniraptors with bare-skinned snouts. Now the feathers reach their snouts, leaving only the tips bare."

    You sure the new design is accurate? Given that dromaeosaurs most likely spent their lives plunging their heads in bloody carcasses, and that feathers on the head are more than a little hard to preen... Personally, I can imagine a degree of baldness somewhere the Dinosaur Planet model of Velociraptor (in which the entire head is bare) and the Dinosaur Train model of the same dinosaur (in which the area directly above and below the mouth is bare).

  2. Oops, I meant "somewhere between the" in my last post. Sorry.

  3. There is no evidence of bald-headed dromaeosaurids. (I talked about this here: http://albertonykus.blogspot.com/2011/06/maniraptor-feathers-part-vi-lizard.html) In all known beakless maniraptors that preserve integument, the feathers go down the snout.

    Given that even modern scavenging and hypercarnivorous birds (which don't have wing claws for preening with) don't have a problem when inserting their feathered heads into carcasses (or, in some cases, opportunistically going right inside the carcasses), I doubt that keeping the head feathers clean was as much of a problem for dromaeosaurids as is commonly made out to be. Incidentally, bald heads in vultures appear to correlate better with soaring behaviors than with feeding behaviors and play more of a role in thermoregulation than hygiene (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306456508000107). Most vultures have feathered heads (such as this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vulture%27s_head_Park_Mellat_Tehran.JPG).