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My Little pony Headcannon Example: Pegasi Anatomy by turnipBerry My Little pony Headcannon Example: Pegasi Anatomy by turnipBerry
Feedback is always appreciated! :D

This is an example of my upcoming mlp headcannon project. Specifically, this is a work-in-progress snapshot of my pegasi anatomy. I have decided to do pegasi first because the wing joint will probably be more complicated than anything else I will have to deal with.  

Pegasi have several adaptations uniquely suited for flight. Several of the vertebrae in the spine are fused into a ridged structure that serves as an attachment for flight muscles, their limbs are thin and their skulls are light to reduce wait, and they have an extra, movable toe-digit on the inside of the rear limbs. This digit controls a small section of flight feathers that help steer the pony in flight, and is tipped with a sharp, mobile spur-claw. 


Of the three tribes, the earth ponies will be the most closely based on real life equine anatomy. They will tend to be bigger than the other tribes, and will have more variation in size, breed, and coat pattern than unicorns or pegasi. There will be a great deal of variation between individuals within the subspecies as well. And to avoid making unicorns just fancy earth ponies with head-spikes, I will be basing their anatomy more closely on deer and antelope than traditional equines. Alicorn anatomy will vary according to the individual; what tribe they started as, how old they are, and what type of magic the use. 

As to cross-tribe breeding and hybrids, I will be covering that as well. There are a variety of different things that can happen when two ponies from different tribes have children. Most hybrid traits are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but there are some serious heath problems that can occur as well. 

The main characteristics that define a ponies' tribe, (such as wings, horn, or earth pony strength,) are determined during the development of the fetus by the pony's magic. Magic can be inherited from the parents, and is linked to genetics, through a process that I haven't put any effort into figuring out yet. However, some of the secondary tribal characteristics can be inherited without the primary traits. 

In this case, the wings are a primary tribal characteristic, and are determined by the ponies' magic. However, the spurs are a secondary characteristic. So, for example, an earth pony or unicorn with pegasus ancestry might develop spurs, even if they don't have wings. Likewise, a pegasus with earth pony or unicorn ancestry might be born without them. 

This is my headcannon for Fluttershy. One of her grandparents, probably on her mother's side, was an earth pony. Although she is a pegasus, she was born without spurs, and the extra toe digit that they are attached to is underdeveloped. Because of this, she has only rudimentary control over her hock-feathers, making her unstable and clumsy in powered flight.  

I am actually thinking of exploring some of the off-shoot pony tribes as well. When I run out of material on the three tribes and alicorns, I am considering doing pieces on crystal ponies, bat ponies, zebras, and saddle-arabians. If I still need more stuff after that I may also do things like buffalo, changelings, dragons, breezies, sea ponies, and other species found in the mlp universe. 
For those of you who don't know, I have a Patreon page which has been running for quite some time. However, I haven't been able to get more then a few subscribers over the entire time it has been active. As such, starting in January, I will be overhauling my rewards system. 

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Patreon, it is a website that is designed to help support artists. If you are interested in seeing my work, you can subscribe for a small monthly fee, which will give you access to art and content that can't be found anywhere else. You can pledge whatever amount of money you want, so it's not a problem if you're income is low. However, the more you pledge every month, the more rewards and content you will have access to. 

As a part of my new rewards system, I am creating packages of My Little Pony headcannon art. I hope to be able to release a new package at least every two months, and all of the old packages will continue to be available to anyone with the appropriate pledge amount. Starting in January with a reference for Rainbow Dash and a variety of pegasi skeleton packages, I will eventually release other characters, muscle structures, feather guides/wing tutorials, and other assorted content. 

If you would be interested in supporting my Pattern there will be different things available for each payment tier. 

Character references will be available for free. ( For example, a full body reference for Rainbow Dash, or Fluttershy.) As well as small preview images of the packages. (Probably showing the head. I.E. the skull, or the facial muscles.) 

Additionally, anyone who supports me will be able to vote on characters that they would like to see drawn. 

For $1.00 per month or more, people will get access to assorted sketches and scrap art, such as the little doodles I do to work out how I'm going to make something work.

For $5.00 or up per month, you would get access to the basic side view out of the monthly package. (For the January pack, it will be the clean version of the skeleton in the picture up above. For the February pack, it will be the same view, but with the completed muscle structure. ect.) As well as WIP screenshots of whatever I happen to be working on at the time. 

For $10.00 or more per month, you would get access to a package with a side view, a frontal view, and a top-down view. Other rewards would include access to livestreams, and small discounts on commission prices. 

For $20.00 or more per month, you would get access to labeled diagrams, naming all of the important bones, muscles, and organs, as well as access to bonus content such as breed variation charts. On special occasions, $20 dollar Patreons will be invited to special monthly livestreams where you can request sketches. There are moderate commission discounts available. 


Let me know if you are interested in supporting me, or if you have any questions about the rewards system. And feel free to ask about the picture provided or leave feedback on my anatomy as well. Every bit of advice or commentary I can get is useful.  :D (Big Grin)

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 Want to support me? To see tutorials, sketches, WIP's and more stuff like this, go visit my Patreon page. Patreon Icon 

www.patreon.com/user?u=2884915
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Add a Comment:
 
:iconequumamici:
Overall I think this is an excellent blend of Equine, Avian, and anthropomorphic anatomy. The arrangement and proportions of the bones are very believable and natural in appearance.

The fusion of vertebrae and enlargement of the sternum are critical for flight and are very wisely included. It does seem that the furcula is absent at the neck, another bone seen in avians but not equines that is an adaptation for flight.

The neck and lumbar vertebrae appear to be perfect reproductions of the equine spine, having 7 vertebrae in each category. You seem to have taken artistic license by having 9 pairs ribs; most mammals will have 13 pairs, and horses have 18 pairs. (I imagien mlp universe equines to have 13 ribs, since they are usually shown with shorter backs than typical equines) The ribs are usually narrower than yours and are closer together. However, if you have done this intentionally and made fewer larger, hollow ribs as an adaptation for flight I do not see a problem :-)

I find it very interesting that you have included a kneecap on the hindlimbs, many people forget about those. In horses those large kneecaps are part of a mechanism which locks the leg into position so a horse can sleep standing up. I'm curious whether you think pegasi would use them for this as well?

I was almost going to point out that the extra digits of the hindlimb were too high up on the leg, but then I realized you had given them their own metatarsal bones. Very nice touch! :D

The skull appears a good blend between the equine and human influences you are aiming for. I notice the human teeth rather than equine teeth. I don't really have any comments here.

My last thoughts are that the tail seems perhaps a bit shorter than the average equine's tail. My intuition would be that a pegasi would have a longer tail for the purposes of flight control, and maybe thicker bones in the tail to provide the extra strength required for this purpose.

You have obviously put a great amount of thought and study into this. It's the most functional pegasi anatomy I can recall seeing before. Great work! :D
What do you think?
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:iconundertaleaustrash59:
UndertaleAUsTrash59 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It is amazing you need to do unicorn, earth pony, and alicorn
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm planing on it. :D 
Reply
:iconundertaleaustrash59:
UndertaleAUsTrash59 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
i'm making a new account, if you would like to take a look at it once you get this
Reply
:iconsuntwilig:
suntwilig Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
looks good
Reply
:iconarianaaviles:
arianaaviles Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
Incredible
Reply
:iconcelestinavigator:
Celestinavigator Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
What exactly spurs are for?
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
The primary function of the digit itself would be to control a small patch of flight feathers. This helps with steering and sharp turns while in flight. However, the claw can be used for grooming, and possibly even for combat. 
Reply
:iconcelestinavigator:
Celestinavigator Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
Is it the same size in mare and stallions or one of sexes has bigger ones?
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Not particularly. I was planing on having it vary based on the individual, but there isn't a particular difference between the sexes. 
Reply
:iconcelestinavigator:
Celestinavigator Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
Pretty awesome idea.
Reply
:iconwidowpeak:
WidowPeak Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist
Right! I finally put the time into reading this.

I am not entirely sure about the spur. I would have to see it drawn with flesh and feathers. What would be its purpose?

I would not bother trying to figure out how the genetics work. The fact that a quadruped can grow an extra set of limbs out of nowhere would be a nightmare to have biologicaly make sense.

But I do like that you are trying to give more variety to the body shapes for each tribe. I personally like to see Batponies as a different tribe, who just happen to be rare.
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I think That the picture of Rainbow Dash I'm working on includes the spur, feathers and all. You can see it here if you're curious:  Extra Rainbow Rainbow Dash WIP by turnipBerry

The main Idea of the spurs is that because pegasi don't have tail-feathers, they require a different form of flight stabilizer. The digit that the spur is attached to serves as an anchor point for small patches of flight feathers. There help the individual balance and make sharp turns in the air.

I do plan on doing bat-ponies at some point, although I probably won't get to them for a while.  
Reply
:iconwidowpeak:
WidowPeak Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist
Oh right!

I am still uncertain of the necessity. They do have actual tails, after all, and maybe they could serve as a good enought flight stabilizer.

This is all theorical, though. Pegasi do not exist =P
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think the horse-like tail would really do it. It's almost all hair. A flight stabilizer needs to have an actual control surface, something that can move air around. 
Reply
:iconmeepking123:
meepking123 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017
just wow
Reply
:iconjatheus:
Jatheus Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016
:thumbsup: way cool :)
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. :D
Reply
:iconlurks-no-more:
Lurks-no-More Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2016
Very nifty! Always nice to see people put so much thought and effort into their stuff. :)
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. :D
Reply
:iconkiedough:
KieDough Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic!!
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks. :D
Reply
:iconsindraq:
Sindraq Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
Awesome work, but the skull looks like a mix between a human and a canine skull to me.
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I know. I deliberately based it more off human anatomy than off equine. A more anatomically accurate horse-like head just brings up all sorts of problems with facial expressions. The resemblance to a canine is somewhat unfortunate, but...

It will look significantly better with skin and hair, I hope. 
Reply
:iconsindraq:
Sindraq Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
Perhaps you should do one without skin and hair first. You know, like a muscular system analysis drawing. :)
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That will be my second monthly package. January will be the skeleton, and ether February or March, depending of what release schedule I go with, will be Muscle structure. After that I will be focusing on skin, hair and feathers. 
Reply
:iconlikelynotkai:
LikelyNotKai Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
oh please make more of these, they're so cool!
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
There will be some stuff related to this posted here on DeviantART, but most of it will be exclusive to my Patreon account. If you're interested, there is a full explanation in the description. :D
Reply
:iconlikelynotkai:
LikelyNotKai Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:D Let me know if your interested. At the moment, I'm still using my old rewards system, so my pattern page is a bit inconsistent. I'm planing on updating to the new system sometime in January when I upload the first anatomy pack. 
Reply
:iconlikelynotkai:
LikelyNotKai Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, thank you! :D
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you're interested. :D
Reply
:icondolphinsong:
dolphinsong Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I take it your referring to the Seaponies from the original MLP series? If so, perhaps include the Flutter Ponies from back then as well? I know they are very similier to the Breezies seen in today's series (being that they have butterfly wings and half the size of normal ponies).
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I was planing on counting breezies and flutter ponies as the same thing, If I do them at all. That's a long way down the line. 
Reply
:iconshadowflamecat7:
ShadowFlameCat7 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Student General Artist
are you considering doing a draconequus sheet?
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm... possibly. I think it would almost have to be way down the line though. A creature that doesn't have two of the same limb anywhere on it's body, unless it wants to, and can change appearance at will, just doesn't seem compatible with a structured anatomy chart. 
Reply
:iconjykinturah:
Jykinturah Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I am really looking forward to see how you form skeletons of unicorns and the "earth" pony and how their physiology would be different! I understand it'll be a patreon reward, which I understand entirely and support.

I notice the little spurs on the hind legs as mentioned in the comments below, along with your replies. I think it's a neat way of dealing with the lack of tail feathers as flight stabilizers.

Speaking of headcanoning, I'm always curious as to how individuals consider the results of interbreeding between the three distinct flavors in terms of physiology. I follow biological sciences as a bit of a hobby (well to be honest I do so with many different fields), so I find it very exciting to see how others headcanon such details!

Maybe I could persuade you into exploring bat ponies as well? hahaha
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
(EDIT: I think I'm just going to copy-and-paste this comment to the description of the deviation. I've spent a lot of time typing it, and it explains some things that I would like to have available for other people. :D)

I'm looking forwards to drawing to other tribes as well. I mainly just drew pegasi first because the wing bones/joint/attachment is probably the most complicated thing I'm going to have to work on.

Of the three tribes, the earth ponies will be the most closely based on real life equine anatomy. They will tend to be bigger than the other tribes, and will have more variation in size, breed, and coat pattern than unicorns or pegasi. There will be a great deal of variation between individuals within the subspecies as well. And to avoid making unicorns just fancy earth ponies with head-spikes, I will be basing their anatomy more closely on deer and antelope than traditional equines. Alicorn anatomy will vary according to the individual; what tribe they started as, how old they are, and what type of magic the use. 

As to cross-tribe breeding and hybrids, I will be covering that as well. There are a variety of different things that can happen when two ponies from different tribes have children. Most hybrid traits are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but there are some serious heath problems that can occur as well. 

The main characteristics that define a ponies' tribe, (such as wings, horn, or earth pony strength,) are determined during the development of the fetus by the pony's magic. Magic can be inherited from the parents, and is linked to genetics, through a process that I haven't put any effort into figuring out yet. However, some of the secondary tribal characteristics can be inherited without the primary traits. 

In this case, the wings are a primary tribal characteristic, and are determined by the ponies' magic. However, the spurs are a secondary characteristic. So, for example, an earth pony or unicorn with pegasus ancestry might develop spurs, even if they don't have wings. Likewise, a pegasus with earth pony or unicorn ancestry might be born without them. 

This is my headcannon for Fluttershy. One of her grandparents, probably on her mother's side, was an earth pony. Although she is a pegasus, she was born without spurs, and the extra toe digit that they are attached to is underdeveloped. Because of this, she has only rudimentary control over her hock-feathers, making her unstable and clumsy in powered flight.  

I am actually thinking of exploring some of the off-shoot pony tribes as well. When I run out of material on the three tribes and alicorns, I am considering doing pieces on crystal ponies, bat ponies, zebras, and saddle-arabians. If I still need more stuff after that I may also do things like buffalo, changelings, dragons, breezies, sea ponies, and other species found in the mlp universe. 

If you would be interested in supporting my Pattern there will be different things available for each payment tier.

Character references will be available for free. ( For example, a full body reference for Rainbow Dash, or Fluttershy.) As well as small preview images of the packages. (Probably showing the head. I.E. the skull, or the facial muscles.)

Additionally, anyone who supports me will be able to vote on characters that they would like to see drawn. 

For $1.00 per month or more, people will get access to assorted sketches and scrap art, such as the little doodles I do to work out how I'm going to make something work.

For $5.00 or up per month, you would get access to the basic side view out of the monthly package. (For the January pack, it will be the clean version of the skeleton in the picture up above. For the February pack, it will be the same view, but with the completed muscle structure. ect.) As well as WIP screenshots of whatever I happen to be working on at the time. 

For $10.00 or more per month, you would get access to a package with a side view, a frontal view, and a top-down view. Other rewards would include access to livestreams, and small discounts on commission prices. 

For $15.00 or more per month, you would get access to labeled diagrams, naming all of the important bones, muscles, and organs, as well as access to bonus content such as breed variation charts. On special occasions, $15 dollar Patreons and up will be invited to special livestreams where you can request sketches. There are moderate commission discounts available. 

I'm still working on the $20.00 rewards. 

Did I leave anything out? Is my comment long enough? :D
Reply
:iconjykinturah:
Jykinturah Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Woo, that's a lot of info! I like this headcanon of magic + genetics playing a role in offspring's tribe expression.

I'll definitely be looking at your patreon :D

I'm glad for the long reply, I hope I wasn't too much of a bother!
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
It will probably be sometime in January before I update the entire Patreon page. At the moment it's still on the old system. I'm trying to finish my first couple of packages before then so that I can start out with some good material. 

And I do actually think that the previous comment was the longest Da comment I have ever written. I actually think it's longer than the thing I need to type to get my GED. 
Reply
:iconemeowrald:
Emeowrald Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016
Why are there little spur things on the hind legs? 
Reply
:iconscrap-lord:
Scrap-Lord Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
The spurs are for going "Jingle Jangle Jingle"
Reply
:iconemeowrald:
Emeowrald Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
LOL!
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Those are one of the unique features I came up with to distinguish pegasi from the other pony tribes. The "spur" is attached to a small section of flight feathers. Because pegasi don't have tail-feathers like a bird, they need something else to stabilize their flight. 
Reply
:iconemeowrald:
Emeowrald Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
Ah. I see. 
Reply
:iconfoxythebeast10:
foxythebeast10 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Markiplier yeah okay 
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:D Does "Yeah Okay" mean that you like it, that you would be willing to give me money to see more, both, or something else?
Reply
:iconfoxythebeast10:
foxythebeast10 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
It sure does, This is amazing.
Also, I would give you money, but I don't got any.
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I understand completely. :D I only recently got a job. 
Reply
:iconhobartus:
Hobartus Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Man I wish I could support you on Patron. Your art is completely worth it and I would love to see where this head cannon is going. Unfortunately I'm still in highschool and don't have a job, otherwise I would be all for pledging to you.
:/
Reply
:iconturnipberry:
turnipBerry Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
There are/will be pledges as low as $1.00 or $5.00 a month, if you are interested, but I do understand all too well. :D
Reply
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