Saker Falcon Triptych
Saker Falcon Triptych
Creature Feature #305: Harrier-Hawk
The African Harrier-Hawk is a medium sized raptor. She makes her home in woodlands, tree plantations and urban areas. Her diet is omnivorous and includes the fruit of the oil palm, as well as small vertebrates. She is a skilled climber, using her wings as well as her feet and beak. Her knees are double jointed, which allow her to reach into these otherwise inaccessible holes and crevices. In this manner, she raids the nests of cavity-breeding birds. Her own nest is a large structure of sticks, built in a tree or on a cliff ledge. She broods up to three eggs but, like most raptors, siblicide is common and often only one chick will survive to fledging.
Photo by the Raptor Education Group Inc.
Raptoring Around RMFC
This past weekend I was able to make to to RMFC for the first time. Only hours before my flight to Denver, I had managed to make myself a quick tail of somewhat appropriate shape. I dared not make it any longer, for fear of taking out bystanders with my quick and lithe raptor like movements. I am still calling her Kinglet, for lack of a better name.
I had a lot of fun, though I was pretty exhausted from camping in the approximately 10k-foot high mountains just days prior, and my stamina was not the best as a result.
(Mask base is by kierstinlapatka, check out her fantastic work! Slightly modified and finished by me. The fantastic leather thing on my butt is crafted by FolkOfTheWoodCraft .)
Photo credits to my husband, eldarath. This was the first time I had a real camera with me at a convention! Fun! If anyone else has photos of Kinglet, I’d love to see them too. I am still a bit nervous about costuming like this (you can not deny that it’s a pretty silly thing to do), but it beings out an innocent fun that reminds me of childhood. It was delightful to make people smile, and I was happily surprised that a number of people knew that I was playing as a feathered dinosaur!
Crow: CROW YES!
It’s actually impossible to measure how many fucks a corvid give because there is no device sensitive enough to register such a tiny amount.
science/animal side of tumblr… explain to me the birb thing
Tail Pulling is a behavior noted in many corvids. The practical application is to create a distraction that will allow the birb to make off with the target’s food. Imagine being in the lunch room and a large fellow has a Twinkie you covet. You can’t just take it from him because he’ll defend his Twinkie. But if you thwap him on the back of his neck and then dash around to snag the Twinkie while he investigates, you stand a decent chance of enjoying spongey goodness. This is basically that in birb form.
Except corvids don’t only do this as a distraction. Sometimes they seem to just being doing it to mess with other animals/birbs. But to use my lunch room analogy, there are times you might thwap someone sneakily on the back of the neck just for amusement. Primates exhibit behavior that appears to be just be annoying other animals for amusement. Given how intelligent crows are, its not unlikely that this is a manifestation of an innate desire to just fuck with someone else for the fun of it. Such as this from the link above:
THANK YOU FOR THE BIRB KNOWLEDGE
Diagnostic anatomical reconstruction of Deinonychus antirrhopus, intended loosely for Wikipedia but also as an experimental piece to show pretty much exactly how I believe this animal looked in life.
This was largely inspired by an interesting Facebook discussion with paleoartist Julius Csotonyi about arm-folding in paravian dinosaurs. It occurred to me that people seldom reconstruct paravians, particularly dromaeosaurs, with their arms folded in a reasonable and accurate way. Julius made the fair the point that these animals probably didn’t carry their arms out in front of the body, as is so often depicted (in skeletals and otherwise — it makes sense in skeletals, to adequately show the hand and arm anatomy), because such an awkward orientation would leave the hand and arm feathers open to damage and breakage. But they also can’t fold them tightly against the breast or back like birds do, because they lack the mobility to do so.
So how did Deinonychus normally carry its arms? Senter’s 2006 paper on forelimb function in Deinonychus and Bambiraptor shows that the humerus couldn’t rotate much past the horizontal with respect to the scapula. In addition, Sullivan et al. 2010 — winningly translated to layman coherency by Matt Martyniuk — shows that wrist mobility in many paravians is much less than you might expect, given their similarity to birds. The wrist of Deinonychus antirrhopus specifically would not have allowed it to bend its hands even 90° with respect to the arm!
Given these limitations, most of the flexion would have to occur at the elbow, but a fully flexed elbow would mean that the hands would be hanging below the body, not held sleek and secure alongside the body. The arm orientation in my illustration above is based on what I think is probably the perfect configuration for carrying the arms: a fully-flexed shoulder, a fully-flexed wrist, and a nearly fully-extended elbow. A few other people have drawn their dromaeosaurs with the same arm configuration, like Smnt2000 and Pilsator, so kudos to them.
Male Red Kite (by Ben.Hartmann *76,000 views!! Thanks everyone!!*)