Friday mystery object #170 answer


On Friday I gave you this pair of bones to identify:

It didn’t take long for the type of bone to be identified, with Anthony Wilkes immediately spotting that these are the quadrates of a bird. Then things got more tricky as the type of bird became the focus of the identification.

Robin was the first to recognise the family and likely type of bird, with henstridgesj concurring, with the agreement being on these quadrates being from a Macaw, probably from the genus Ara Lacépède, 1799.

Blue-and-gold Macaw (Ara ararauna) on left and Green-winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus) on right. At Jurong Bird Park, Singapore. By Desmond Peh

In case you’re not sure what a Macaw’s quadrate looks like, here is a Red-and-blue (AKA Red-and-green, or Green-winged) Macaw Ara chloropterus (Gray, 1859) skull with the left quadrate highlighted:

Skull of Ara chloropterus with quadrate highlighted

Skull of Ara chloropterus with quadrate highlighted

Macaws have an incredibly large and powerful bill, which they can use to open some pretty tough nuts. This is part of the reason why their quadrate is so large, as it deals with some impressive forces and it allows them a great deal of control when manipulating their food. Here’s a video of a Blue-and-gold Macaw opening a Walnut. Impressive stuff!

One thought on “Friday mystery object #170 answer

  1. Pingback: Friday mystery object #318 answer | Zygoma

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s