The problem with writing and illustrating a book covering hundreds of feathered dinosaur species is that it's easy to get on a roll, then get lazy. Specifically, there were one or two instances during the making of the book where I got cocky and finished the bulk of an illustration off the top of my head, only checking it against research later. In all of these instances, I ended up having to modify or flat-out cut the illustration while writing the explanatory text. So much for the info sitting at the top of my head!
Luckily, in many cases I was able to salvage my work by tweaking the paintings in Photoshop to fit a different species, especially where the original was highly speculative to begin with. For example, I was really happy with my initial restoration of the tooth taxon Troodon asiamericanus, and with a few adjustments it now features proudly in the finished book as Linheraptor tani. I was so pleased with my restoration of the possible gigantic velociraptorine (err... itemirine) Itemirus that I chucked out my already-completed restoration of Achillobator (previously featured here), broadened the Itemirus snout, shortened the legs, and used that painting instead. However, there's one restoration I kinda liked a lot that didn't make it into the final book in any form.
|Speculative restoration of Zapsalis abradens by Matt Martyniuk|
So, Zapsalis had two reasons to be cut. One, it was obviously far too speculative to include in a book focusing on comparing externally visible traits. Two, I had to admit that even the name itself is a bit dubious if it's from the DPK. Unlike the Lancian fauna, where no eudromaeosaurs have ever been named and so nothing competes for priority, there are several eudromaesaurs from the DPK. Is Zapsalis a distinct species? Maybe, but if not, it could represent a different morph of either Saurornitholestes or Dromaeosaurus. It would take priority over either name, but without any way to currently tell which (if any) it is, it's kind of a "nomen dubium".