Friday mystery object #27 answer

On Friday I gave you this scrawny looking bird to identify:

The beak (and feet) gave away that it is a parrot (or psittaciform as the parrots are known to ornithologists and the taxonomically minded), which was immediately recognised by SmallCasserole shortly followed by Debi Linton. SmallCasserole suggested “parakeet” which I suppose could be accepted as a correct identification since they are called “parakeets” by Americans, but it took Jim to identify it more specifically – it is of course a budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus (Shaw, 1805). These small green and yellow parrots are indigenous to Australia, where they inhabit the dry interior of the continent. Having spent way too much time training these charismatic birds to fly in a wind tunnel in the past, I am glad to now be working with just the bones – after all, the bones don’t make as much noise, they don’t poo on you and (most importantly) they don’t bite.

2 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #27 answer

    • It’s actually surprisingly close to the image you link to, if you add it the muscle and feathers. Because the rachis of feathers are so stiff the contours created by the overlapping feathers are quite different to what you might expect when looking at the skeleton – the necks of almost all birds are actually quite long, but they have a characteristic bend that makes them appear shorter, particularly because the feathers at the nape of the neck disguise the curvature completely.

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