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Wings of Nope by Spikeheila Wings of Nope by Spikeheila
This is a general picture on what dinosaur wings look like in feathered/winged dinosaurs.

This is not a matter of opinion, this is just how it actually is, and how wings work, period.

The arm is actually a (non-jp) velociraptor's arm(second set of arms)

- Rows as a whole-

Row 1.
The big thing with this entire row is that they have pronated hands.
Theropods could NOT move their hands down like that, they don't have thewristbones for twisting and turning and manipulation like we humans do.

Many artists reference off each other. Larger artists that use pronated/bunny hands don't know how to make it look like a wing ... because wings don't work like that, at all.

Pronation in hands to this extent, seems to be an artifact left over from when people still thought dinosaurs ran around like freaky lizard-kangaroos. Basically from very very early 90s and further back in time. It doesn't help that some franchises(like Jurassic Park) still do it with their dinosaurs.

Row 2.
The hands are facing the right way and are supinated! Great!.. but they share the same fate as the entirety of the first row as well

Rows 1 & 2-

Both rows share a poor attempt at trying to keep the dinosaur as a 'half lizard' monstrosity by keeping the hand unfeathered.

Row 3.

While this was made faster than the others and looks sloppier(I'll redo this one)
This one is what feathered dinosaur wings look like.
The primaries (the cool pointy feathers) attatch to the second finger, the rest are on the arm.

Before you go and say 'well i cant do my own style with this! It's not much different than a regular bird's wing. This is shown in figure 2 using a different style the figure 1 of row 3



Column 1. This kind of feathering mostly cropped up after JP3's release. This is the worst kind of feathering for feathered theropods. It's literally just slapping a few feathers onto

Column 2
More feathers this time! It looks like the entire body may be feathered, which is great! Unfortunately, the dinosaur lacks primaries and feathered hands ,however.

For the second row,however,that arm is how… ornithomimosaurs may have had their wings,although they may even have lacked primaries.

Column 3.
Getting closer to trying to have a real wing now.
This has cropped up much more with those in row 1, because the artists don't know how it's supposed to have a wing there if the palm's facing downward.. well the palm isn't supposed to be down, for one.

They don't know that primaries exist.

Column 4.
Known as 'Wrist-wings'
Oddly enough, this is usually how dinosaurs like Archeopteryx are shown, despite the earliest known sketches on the early papers of the animal having proper wings.

Wrist Wings occur when someone doesn't know that the primaries attach to the second finger in the animal, but they know they at least exist, but can't find the mechanism for how to make the wing look right. So they make their own! Here, the primaries attach to the wrist and can somehow swing foreward and backward to fold up like a normal bird's wing would, I guess using some form of black magic.
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dinu1999 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Katemare Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
Thank you for this great and clear reference!

I have a question that I'm desperately seeking an answer for... What was the mobility of fingers of feathered dinosaurs like dromeosaurids? In which constraints could they move their three fingers when they were attacking, grabbing stuff and otherwise using them? How feathers moved with fingers (aside from folding)? From all the images and restorations, the actual fingers under the plumage look like, well, fingers, not bare chicken wings. I have a hard time imaging the whole of it in motion...
EWilloughby Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hopefully Spike won't mind if I pop in and offer an answer, since I tackled a very similar question on my blog not too long ago.

First of all, I should point out that it's unclear whether dromaeosaurs were using their hands for predation very often at all. It may well be the case that the clawed hands of dromaeosaurs were employed in a similar way to the hind claws of cats: cats don't typically use their hind claws to capture prey, but anyone who's ever been grabbed and "kicked" by a cat knows that it can certainly use them to inflict pain, when it wants to. More recent theories on the origin of the flapping motion in birds suggest that the predatory precursors to birds may have stood on top of their prey with their feet, using outspread clawed hands to help with balancing rather than active predation. This behavior could have persisted in dromaeosaur lineages, and a greater surface area of feathers on the arms and hands would have provided better balance. 

Either way, it’s also probably the case that long primaries would have impeded the grasping abilities of dromaeosaurs less than you might think. A 2006 study by Phil Senter and colleagues addressed the question of whether primary feathers on the hands of deinonychosaurs would significantly impede the ability to grasp. Note this image, from Senter 2006: (A) dromaeosaur reaching forward with wrists flexed. The wings do not obstruct each other in this position. (B) obligate supination when reaching forward with right wrist extended. (C) one-handed grasping of an item to the chest; can only be done with one hand at a time.

Senter showed that a deinonychosaur could hold and grasp objects in several different positions of the hand and arm without obstruction of wing feathers, even if very long. Incidentally, a later study by Senter showed that Bambiraptor, at least, may have had a partially-opposable first digit (thumb) that it could use to grasp a small item against its third digit. Note this Senter illustration showing possible dromaeosaur grasping ability of first and third digits. In this sort of grasping of the hand, notice that the second digit remains stationary. As any present remige feathers would be attached to this digit alone, a stationary position would not cause the "wing" to impede the grasping motion.

Hope that helps!
Katemare Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Thank you, I was looking for something like the last illustration (and the rest of the explanation) for a long time! So, I see how the first and third digits are free to grab and do stuff.

However, I still have problem with the middle digit which feathers attach to... Bird wings that we regularly eat see today have wide surfaces for feathers and the bone structure to support that. I also gather (for example, from this tutorial) that the most motion is in wrist and elbow. The "fingers" in modern birds aren't flexible and are sometimes fixed (aren't they?). But raptor's middle digit, though elongated. looks very much like a normal digit. It looks narrow and mobile. What happened when the animal bent it? How feathers moved in this case? How did they even stay attached to this narrow, dynamic surface? Or did raptors have flattened, less mobile middle digits?
EWilloughby Featured By Owner May 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well, I think that if a deinonychosaur needed to bend its second manual digit (which it might not have been doing all that often to begin with), the feathers would probably just flex along with the finger. Remiges would have anchored directly into the bone of the hand (with an overlapping of external coverts), so the insertion points probably would not have been directly on the joints. Try extending your own pointer finger and imagine you had toothpicks taped along it pointing down. Let's say you've got a few taped to the most distal phalanx, a few on the center one, and a few more on the most proximal one, but none on the knuckles themselves. Could you still bend it? Probably! Would they overlap, bump into, or interfere with one another during this movement? Since bending would create more three-dimensional space between them rather than less, probably not.

Another unique feature of dromaeosaur hands is that they had noticeably pronounced posterolaterally bowed outer metacarpals and expanded finger bases. In other words, they didn't yet have the stiff, flat hands of birds, but they were on their way there (or on their way back, as Greg Paul would argue). Check out the bowed outer metacarpal in This feature is often interpreted as a sort of "shelf" on which to support long feathers. The second digit of the hand (and third) also may have been completely embedded in skin and feathers in some genera, which would have given feathers more surface on which to attach.

You're right that most birds have basically inflexible hands (some may be exceptions, but I can't think of them offhand). Birds also have significantly more flexible wrists and shoulder girdles than paravian dinosaurs, but evolution has granted them mastery at efficient folding and overlapping of feathers during movement. Surely dromaeosaurs, with their uniquely mobile yet feathered hands, would have achieved a similar mastery.
Katemare Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
Ok, so I did the toothpick experiment %) And spent a lot of time staring intently on various wing anatomy guides and dino reconstructions. I partly understood the mechanism, but not entierly... I still can't imagine it in motion. What would help is the animation of raptor bending its digits and using them. Too bad JP4 won't feature feathers...
Elperdido1965 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great  !perfect
Spikeheila Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Elperdido1965 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
give me very good tips for my Pics and the inaccurate Fails in this ;)
Celestial-Rainstorm Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice reference! I know a lot of artists who can't get raptor hands right (the only reason my raptors have a bit more manipulation is 'cause they're genetically engineered little bastards). This is a fantastic guide!
Qilong Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013
Remember feather layering, too! On top of the wing, each feather towards the body lies on TOP of the font towards the hand. On the bottom, it's the other way around. On the tail, the feathers towards the middle lie on top of those towards the sides when viewed from above; and again, it's the reverse from the other side.
Milvolarsum Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
incredible references, really o.0
EdaphosaurusPogonias Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Do the Therizinosaurs have Primaries, or just Secondaries?
Spikeheila Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Not quite enough information on that yet, hopefully it comes soon!
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
Ahaha, black magic. This is great. Minor correction: we don't know what ornithomimosaur wings looked like, as their existence is based on markings on the arm bones rather than the entire wing being preserved.
Spikeheila Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fixed and noted that they may or may not have primaries, but at least have secondaries.
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Submitted on
August 21, 2013
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