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Wyvern Musculature by KatePfeilschiefter Wyvern Musculature by KatePfeilschiefter
Some quickish muscle drawings, as people have been requesting wyvern anatomy and I myself have to figure out what wyverns in Aerie will look like. They'll have to exist alongside the larger hexapods without competing for the same niche. And will most likely be less intelligent and more colonial than their six-limbed cousins. A good comparison between the wyverns and the hexapods in Aerie would be that between wolves and coyotes. Farmers don't like either of them, but one is smaller, more troublesome, and much more numerous.

There are multiple ways to structure a wyvern. Whether they're bird, bat or pterosaur based.
Both of these are very bird like, with keeled sternums, coracoids and furcula.

The first wyvern walks like a bat or a pterosaur would, and can gallop quite quickly when using its wings as forearms. It's thoracic vertebrae is only partially fused, leaving the spine semi- flexible. I imagine this guy as gliding and climbing a lot. This dragon is what an early wyvern could look like when transitioning from a hexapod to a four limbed biped, depending on the phylogeny.

The bottom wyvern is essentially a modified heron, with a birds skeleton. This guy is smaller and can take off much more quickly. He's a bit more like a medieval wyvern with a snakish neck and tail, and a short bulbous midsection.
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:icondangref:
DanGref Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's wonderfull picture and very impresive scientific research abiut dragons' evolution! I'm working about it too - dangref.deviantart.com#/journa…

maybe you would like it and even help me with this hard problem?
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, and sure, go ahead and send me note
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:iconluminousking:
LuminousKing Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Is this available as an open reference? It would be a great tutorial.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Of course, keep in mind though that as this is a mythical creature this isn't the end all be all of references for a wyvern. Just a few of my own ideas on how to create them.
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:iconluminousking:
LuminousKing Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much!
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:icondanielsahn:
Danielsahn Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
I really like the detail of these pieces. I'm writing a story that is inclusive of wyverns and feel this does them justice. Also, the wings functioning as forelimbs and the structure of the half-paw that would allow it to be weight bearing is quite original.
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:iconart-by-eos:
Art-by-Eos Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is gorgeous work! It reminds me of the dragon musculature Todd Lockwood made on his website.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! And if you want to see something especially inspired by Todd Lockwood I also have this - [link]
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:iconart-by-eos:
Art-by-Eos Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That one went into the folder the minute I saw it lol
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:iconstarmic:
starmic Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
OH MY GOSH!!! SO COOL
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:iconsezaii:
Sezaii Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012
Awh man, this makes me sooo happy!!!! Someone who actually draws pecs wrapping around the whole body at last XD I know it sounds real sad, but I really get freeked out about how many dragon-artists draw their dragons wither WITHOUT pecs or with them only wrapping around the canine-sized rib cage XD Seriously great work, really shows you want to draw these creatures right, not just draw them ^^ I also love how on the one standing up you have drawn its femur bones longer so when he is on two legs his center of gravity allows him be upright like a bird ^^ many people forget that part! well done, I really admire artists who actually THINK about how anatomy should work XD
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a lot!
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:iconrhov:
Rhov Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm working on a novel with wyverns, but I want to describe the movements accurately. How would they look walking? How would they perch? How long would the tail need to be for accurate balance? Etc, etc... I need to visualize it, and that starts with imagining the skeleton and muscles. This is one of the best musculatures I've found so far, very realistic. Thank you! :D
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad you find it useful. Remember, nature knows best. Looks at birds, bats and pterosaurs. Some pterosaurs had long tails, and you can find bat walk cycles online.
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:iconrhov:
Rhov Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I'll check those out. I was looking at birds mostly, and pterosaurs for skeletons.
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:iconstreetz86:
streetz86 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Nice anatomy!
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:iconlordhzero:
lorDHZero Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Nice work !!
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:iconmeihua:
meihua Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
Amazing! I was just thinking about wyvern anatomy yesterday. :+fav:
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:iconelementaljess:
ElementalJess Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oooo snazzy, I love this! THanks for sharing.
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:iconwelosttheribs:
WeLostTheRibs Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
I always love your studies.
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:iconsognodrago:
sognodrago Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
O.O
this is really well done!
all the details, and the perfect anatomy
awesome!
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:icondystatic-studio:
Dystatic-Studio Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I am interested in this person who requested you to draw wyvern anatomy, because this is actually my first impression of the dragon anatomy development. Can you answer me by note?
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
There was no specific person, multiple random people suggested a wyvern sheet.
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:icondystatic-studio:
Dystatic-Studio Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
What do you think of both your and their suggestion to draw this? :)
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Could you rephrase the question? I'm not quite sure what you're asking.
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:icondystatic-studio:
Dystatic-Studio Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Okay. I mean, is that your own idea to draw wyvern anatomy, or there's someone else to help you with it?
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's my own work, though I wouldn't call it an original idea. It's mostly based on bird anatomy
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:icondystatic-studio:
Dystatic-Studio Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Okay, got it. :)
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
God, I love your work! Very DaVinci. :clap:
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! I love Da Vinci
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:iconfreyaabendstern:
FreyaAbendstern Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
wow absolutely awesome
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Hm, if they were originally hexapods, what happened to the extra pair of limbs?
I dont think any piece of anatomy has completetly been reduced away, just made so tiny it hardly exists....

It would be easy to see wyverns with tiny t-rex/carnotaur arms, would make their relationship with the dragons a lot clearer. Especially if they are cousins, since the arms wouldnt have had time to completetly disappear. :o
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:iconcrovexius:
Crovexius Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
There is evidence of animal species losing pieces of there anatomy entirely over time. Whales are a good example of a creature that started as a quadraped and now only has front limbs. And snakes and legless lizards have lost all their limbs, for that matter. :)
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
To my knowledge at least snakes still have remnants of their bones left. :l

It takes a very very long time for that however, I think. It would make more sense if they diverged far earlier, like dinosaurs and pterodactyls diverged very early in their existence.
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:iconcrovexius:
Crovexius Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Snakes don't tend to have anything left - in most cases they've even lost their shoulder and hip girdles. [link] But then again, some large pythons still have little back-leg 'stubs'. [link]

In the end, the amount of time something like that takes to atrophy completely would come down to how detrimental it would be to have it around - so unless it was environmentally supportable for them to do so, growing limbs that aren't needed would be a pretty big waste of resources.
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Well, in my eyes, having the extra arms is not very detrimental at all for the wyvern. It would probably be light enough to allow flight (after all, the dragons can fly and they have six limbs), so it would be very slow to lose the limbs. Alternatively, if it is very detrimental, why are dragons thriving with six limbs?
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:iconcrovexius:
Crovexius Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Having front limbs that aren't used soley for locomotion can be a great advantage - look at humans, our front limbs are very useful - and being able to fly without losing that could lead to an advantage over a similarly built flying quadraped, who has to give up its front (or rear) limbs as they become wings.

Wyverns not having the third pair of limbs can have advantages if they are a small animal, as you'd have to be able to support the extra weight from the fore-limbs in flight, which would mean you'd require either more wing surface, and/or stronger/denser flight-muscles, and more energy to drive it all - and it takes far more energy to fly a given distance than it does to walk, or even run. So not having those limbs would free up all the nutrients and energy that would be going to unused front limbs so that they have more to be able to fly.

But, who knows, maybe there is a "missing link" form around somewhere with tiny little arms. They wouldn't have just suddenly dropped off, after all. :D
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Well, looking at quetzalcoatl, it had an enormous head and was ridiculously large. It could probably fly very effortlessly, so a smaller animal could support a pair of front limbs as well. It would actually be disadvantageous for a wyvern to lose those frontlimbs.
I doubt their weight would add that much trouble for the wyvern, since it could easily fly via gliding.
It actually takes a lot less to fly than to run if you dont flap very much. Seems to me that the wyverns pictured here are larger than an eagle, so they would probably be gliding for the most part.

The thing is, the frontlimbs most likely wouldnt go unused - they could be used to catch prey, and to carry items (like nesting material.) It might also make climbing easier, since they wouldnt have to fortify their wings for the stress of walking on them.
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:iconcrovexius:
Crovexius Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's important to remember that weight conservation is ALWAYS an issue when it comes to flying - compare Archaeopteryx and the modern crow - they're both about the same size, but the crow will be the more efficient, (or even 'optomized'), of the two when it comes to flight simply because of the differences between them. Heck, even aircraft run to the rule of 'lighter and less pokey-out extras is better'. As for Quetzalcoatlus, its skull has ENOURMOUS fenestrae in it to lighten it, and its body wasn't very big at all - it's been estimated that even azhdarchids the size of a giraffe would only weigh up to about 250kg.

Anyways, while I don't doubt that front limbs have the possibility to be useful, I doubt that arms like that of a tyrannosaur or carnotaurus would be very good for catching prey, climbing, or even carrying things. And you have to admit that even things that are useful can get lost to evolution - our ancestors had tails after all.
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(1 Reply)
:iconmagickie:
Magickie Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Epic win
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:iconroflo-felorez:
RoFlo-Felorez Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i like what you did here with the wyvern designs :)

personally i think it would be easier to design most of the wyverns like the birdlike one on the bottom, i do that with a lot of my wyverns too, since its easier to compare large flying theropods to birds and dromaeosaurs

with the top one, its a bit tricky to explain it, but i like how you added the keel and the strong flight muscles :) i only have one wyvern that's quadruped based, but it acts more like a reptilian bat as opposed to the birdlike wyverns i usually make :P

they're both great looking, i love your dragons :iconilavplz:
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:iconzegaroth:
Zegaroth Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Fancy.
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