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Paradise's Feitian by TheTerritorialTrike Paradise's Feitian by TheTerritorialTrike
    The Paradise's Feitian (Feitianius paradisi) is one of the most beautiful creatures in all of Paleos. They are at home in our Xiagou Aviary, where the males flick their extravagant blue feathers and chant their hypnotizing songs in order to gain territory and win over mating rights. These battles never get to more than just harmless calls and taunts, so several males can live in the aviary. The females are rather drab, as they sport a muted coat of sienna and umber. The females are actually rather curious, and they will often fly up to visitors and investigate their oddly colored purses and coats.
    The feathers of the male were surprising to scientists, as blue and green pigments were once thought to belong to only true birds (the Neornithes). Although those feathers may look clumsy and ungainly, the birds are actually quite maneuverable in the air, preforming elegant ducks and dives through the dense, temperate and subtropical forests in which they live. In mating displays, males call out in high, rhythmic calls, and, when a female appears, tuck their head in their chest feathers and flaunt their tail feathers high in the air and waving them back and forth. The females are extremely choosy, and only pick the males with the most intricate displays or largest feathers.
    The females make nests in the high branches of the ginkgoes, which were plentiful in the Early Cretaceous, but when their main seed distributors (tapejarid pterosaurs) went extinct, they slowly declined to the low populations seen today. When females make their nest, the Paradise's Feitian fly to a pond's edge and pick out fern's which only grow at the water's edge, something zookeepers learned the hard way. When the aviary was originally built, there was no swamp, and the Feitians would not breed. After experimenting with different techniques, the keepers learned a wetland needed to be incorporated. The inhabitants of the aviary were temporarily relocated to a habitat in the San Diego Zoo in which the birds had not yet been introduced. This no doubt benefited the the San Diego Zoo, as attendance almost doubled. After construction of the wetlands of the zoo were completed, the animals were then sent back to the Xiagou Aviary.
    In the image above, a male is shown on an educator's hand. The photo was actually taken several months back, when the exhibit was still relatively new.

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Here's a new Paleos piece. Sorry for the scan quality. Hope you like it.

Pencils 2016
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November 14, 2016
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