North America, Hell Creek Formation
At the end of the Cretaceous the lowland forests of North America displayed many modern characteristics. Large conifers (Taxoidium, Auracarian. sp) remained, growing alongside the now more abundant angiosperms. Palms, laurels, sycamores, figs and oaks were common and flourished in these subtropical deltas.
Dromaeosaurs were light agile hunters, and like many other small predators found the reptiles and small mammals that inhabited these forests a reliable source of food.
Although the affinity between birds and theropod dinosaurs had been proposed since the Victorian era, it was only with the discovery of Sinosauropteryx in 1996 and the identification of quill knobs on the ulna of a Velociraptor in 2007 that palaeontologists could say for certain these animals would have been feathered. This illustration was prepared prior to these fossil discoveries.
Acrylic on paper. (1995)
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