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A few readers already familiar with the palaeontological aspect of my work may recall this illustration of a Citipati which I did about two years ago.


Citipati sp
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico cold pressed, c. 245 x 170mm.

Back in January this year, I was contacted by a writer from the German television broadcaster, WDR, requesting permission to use this illustration for their science documentary strand, Quarks & Co. The programme in question, I was informed, concerns the palaeontologist Jack Horner’s proposal to create a ‘chicken dinosaur’.

I wasn’t sure whether or not the use was going ahead and soon forgot about it altogether. It transpired that it did indeed take place and that the programme itself had actually aired in late February and early March. The short animated sequence in which the illustration appeared can be seen here.

Thankfully the image still reads well even though it has been flipped for the purpose. They also referred to it as an Oviraptor, rather than Citipati — but oh, well. The pleasantest surprise is that they even constructed a skeleton to match.

As a side note, I would of course have given it feathered fingers and a much thicker tail base were I drawing this now, and would also have resolutely avoided the running posture.