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August 21, 2012
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Khaaaaaannnn! by ScottHartman Khaaaaaannnn! by ScottHartman
It just occurred to me that I didn't have enough oviraptorids up here, so I dusted this one of Khaan off (from 2004) and made enough upgrades to be considered "up to date". It should go without saying that these guys had proto-wings (but not up past their elbows!) and well-developed tail fans.

I also restored these guys have having a more knee-driven locomotion style than most theropods. The reduced tail and forward center of gravity made it seem necessary, but that's a discussion for another time (and a paper and a blog post...).

Edit: I decided in retrospect that I had been forcing the pectoral girdle a bit too far back on the ribcage, so it has now moved a third of a vertebrae forward. I also repositioned the chevrons based on observations of articulated theropod tails, and tweaked the silhouette to bring it fully into the modern age.

As a final note, my five year old daughter now loves this dinosaur, and always follows up the name with "khaaaaann!" while shaking her fist and using what must be her best William Shatner voice.

Edit 2: This time I actually uploaded the current version. Sigh...
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:iconsaurornithoides:
Saurornithoides Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
KHAAAAAAANN!!!
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:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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:iconshadechristiwolven:
shadechristiwolven Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
Thank you! Ahhhh! Thank you so much! I'm going through an oviraptorid phase in my art and this will be endlessly helpful!
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Happy to have been of service.
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:icondrakonial:
Drakonial Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
I'm not sure, but I may be just favoriting this for the title.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm ok with that :)
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
It still looks like you've got the palate all flat and squishy, not as in all other oviraptorids. I would suggest fixing that, compare to ZPAL MgD-I/95 and GIN 100/20, both Conchoraptor gracilis.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It seems that Conchoraptor may be the most extreme example of the ventrally located palate, but I think you are still correct.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
Well, the massively ventrally-displaced pelate, with a vertical ectopteryogid having a C-shape in lateral view occurs at least in AMNH FR 6517, holotype of Oviraptor mongoliensis (it is monly the dorsal half of the ectopterygoid that is preserved in that specimen, but it's enough to show the whole bone was vertical as in other oviraptorids). This suggests that all oviraptorids probably have this structure, though it may be diagnostic to a larger clade -- but given the distribution and definition, this would probably still be called Oviraptoridae. It doesn't look like caengnathids have such a distended palate, and neither does Caudipteryx, contra Longrich.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well thus concludes one of my more stupid episodes - I uploaded last year's version (it freaking said "2012", and didn't even have the scale bar and rigorous version I'd just finished).

The palate still may not be deep enough for your tastes, but it _was_ improved from last year.

Sheesh.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Well, I see that NOW. And yes, it does look different, but I'm not sure it resembles anything more than an hypothetical caenagnathid.

(I should add that, given the brevity of the tail, I doubt the typical S-curve that might be present in larger theropods' tails was present; the distal end seems to easily incorporate a "stiffened rod" of sorts, and a pygostyle seems to develop in oviraptorosaurians fairly easily where the distal tail tip is known ("Ingenia," Conchoraptor both seem to have one).)
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Alas, with the mouths shut Khaan's palate IS a hypothetical caenagnathid palate ;) At some point I need to do several more oviraptorids and then I'll have to really do a deep dive into their palatal structure.

I think the feathers would drag the tail tip down a bit (even with a pygostyle), but whether there is any up curve or not in the anterior caudal series could easily vary from species to species, or simply by the druther's of the tail's owner.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
I merely make the asusmption that Khaan mckennai will be closer to, say Conchoraptor gracilis than is Oviraptor philoceratops, and if the latter has a strongly descended palate a la Conchoraptor gracilis, then so too should Khaan mckennai; otherwise, you're interpolating a flatter, more basal palate WITHIN oviraptorids, convergently. We should infer the palate be oviraptorid in morphology.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
Err, I should have added that when it comes to tail feathers, birds walk with their pygostyles held vertically, tails flexed upward or at least the style and last caudals. If the tails are short, we can suggest that they had alack of general flexibility; and if they weren't as flexible as longer tails, they wouldn't form the same S curves. That's why MY Khaan looks like this: [link] Much of the distal tail doesn't seem particularly mobile. I do agree with the caveat that appearances are descieving; no one's actually attempted mobility analyses on tails, even recent oviraptorid tail muscle morphology papers.
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
oviraptors ftw! :D
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Weird fucking thing, especially considering the APP article on oviraptorid tails.
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:icondino-mario:
Dino-Mario Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Khaan is a great lord among oviraptorids
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:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great!
But i don't think their "wings" stopped at the elbow... The fact that Caudipteryx had arm feathers only close to the hands is probably a taphonomy artifact.
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful skeletal, wonderful step cycle!
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:iconzegh8578:
ZEGH8578 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
The moved centre of gravity, due to the short tail, was something that was kindov new to me in dino-restoration - but became very obvious to me when making my recent oviraptorid-collection.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, oviraptorids are really odd ducks. I think I know why, but it's a W4TP sort of thing (alas, I have like 8 of those).
Reply
:iconthediremoose:
thediremoose Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
I was wondering whent somebody was going to think of a title like yours, especially considering the spelling of "Khaan" with multiple As.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Well, "Khan" as in Khan Noonien Singh and "Khaan" as in "Ghenghizkhaan" are pronounced the same way. "aa" is a single short syllable, as much as to say we were to write it "" (stressed syllable in Spanish or Greek) or "" (in Finnish).
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That's true Jaimie, but nearly as fun for a title ;)
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:iconyapok96:
Yapok96 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Just a quick question: Did ALL aviremigians have remiges extending down the middle finger? I know there are fossils showing this, and I assumed all of them did for a long time. But I had an interesting conversation with a curator of the dinosaur collection at my local museum, and he claimed that some dromaeosaurs would have lost said remiges on their hands as they probably used their hands to handle prey, and the remiges would get in the way of this task. He went on further to say that, like the feet of many modern birds, they would have lost feathers completely on their hands, and their hands would instead be protected by a layer of scales. I realize loss of flight feathers on the hand would be perfectly reasonable, as it has happened on some modern ratites, but the problem I see here is were their aviremigians that really used their hands enough that they would lose the remiges, or even all feathers, on their hand and fingers? Thanks in advanced for reading this.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I see this speculation a lot, but there's absolutely no evidence of it. Gishlick found that the feathers would not get in the way of the hands at all, since the fingers can only flex inwards. Also, of the many, many fossils of feathered non-avian theropods AND living and extinct flightless birds we don't see this either. Given this pattern there may well be a developmental reason why they aren't reduced (remember that the feet are primitively unfeathered for maniraptorans, but the hands aren't).

Finally, it's worth noting that the idea that dromaeosaurs used their hands to grasp during predation is itself a speculation. Sure, I think it's reasonable (and as I said, the wing feathers wouldn't get in the way given how they can move), but we don't actually know that they were used to manipulated prey. Perhaps they are larger simply to increase the size of the wings - indeed, Achillobator seems to have had proportionately smaller arms than its more diminutive cousins, so if anything you could conclude that it's little wings were simply less useful, not that the arms were being used to grasp prey.

In short, until even a single fossil is found with this "sleeved" look I think it's contrary to the evidence we have, and that can't be overturned by special pleading about how the hands might have been used in larger dromaeosaurs.
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:iconyapok96:
Yapok96 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Thanks, I was a bit skeptical of the guy, and that recent paper with prey-riding and what not really showed me that the hands were probably never used in such a way that would damage the feathers anyways. :) Thanks for helping me clear that up, it was honestly bothering me because he was one of the few paleontologists I've talked to in real life, but he seemed to dismiss what seemed pretty confirmed to me by now. Thanks again. :)
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Paleontologists are people too, and some of the ones that resisted the idea of feathered dinosaurs have been slow to come around to believing just how extensive the phylogenetic bracketing is now (although some became fast converts). In my opinion it behooves paleoartists to look for consensus views rather than a particular pet hypothesis - unless of course you are working for that paleontologist, or are purposely trying to show what the idea looks like.
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:iconyapok96:
Yapok96 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
My reasoning is that, if they didn't use their hands, they would have probably found some advantages to using their flight feathers to stabilize themselves while running or prey-riding, not to mention they would be good display structures, of course.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Like Scott, I agree that "prey-handling" doesn't seem to be an issue. Living raptors (hawks and eagles at least) will sometimes use their wings to "herd" prey, some strike or lay their wings on the ground, when mantling or rendering carcasses, etc. It is often used this way when stabilizing the body. This is the point of Denver Fowler's research, as noted here and in the references: [link]

There's a technical paper there, which you can read directly (for free) here: [link]

Manual prey engagement of "raptors" as in the "Fighting Dinosaurs" specimens (here: [link] -- third image down shows the "advertent" use of the manus. There is plenty room for the feathers as in "typical" wings) is perfectly reasonable.
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:iconyapok96:
Yapok96 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Seen that paper, and loved it. A great view of what dromaeosaurs and such were probably truly like. :)It was one of the reasons I was pretty skeptical of this notion the curator told me of in the first place. :) Thanks for helping to clear that up.
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:icondinohunter000:
DinoHunter000 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
*points to skeletal* "Highly Illogical"
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:iconthediremoose:
thediremoose Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
That's not fair. It's not the dinosaur's fault that it can't do the Vulcan salute.
Reply
:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Just one note:

In all oviraptorids for which the palate is exposed, the ectopterygoid and palatine should be deeply exposed and C-shaped in lateral view. There is no reason to expect the palate looked any different than other oviraptorids, despite obfuscation of the mandible in both type, paratype, and the "referred" squished skull. I do not know if there is any specification here for information I don't know (likely).
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:iconkingvego:
KingVego Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome and informative as always
Reply
:icontyranno1:
Tyranno1 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconkhaaanplz: KHAAAN!
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
raaaar!

It's a bird!
It's a dinosaur!
It's oviraptor! =D
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
Man, these guys do look crazy front-heavy in most reconstructions because of the reduced tail. Is there any likelihood that their femurs could have been carried in the near-horizontal position, as in most modern birds?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I don't think it would be necessary - remember that most all theropods had the femur held forward when they were standing still and not walking or running around (at rest the feet probably ended up near the midway on the torso were the CoG was, so there was no balance issue at rest...and bipedal walking is inherently not stable without motion...i.e. it's dynamically stable). The horizontal femur of birds is only partially related to balance, and more related to tail reduction and the shifting of locomotion duties to other muscles.
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
Fascinating to know :thumbsup: and helpfull as always
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:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Student General Artist
I love the title. I always here William Shatner's voice when I read about this dinosaur.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
Same here!
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:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Student General Artist
lol
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