Photo of the Day – August 13, 2017

Make Mine a Drumstick


A large wader of sub-saharan Africa, the Saddle-billed Stork is named for the yellow “saddle” on its bill. Though not apparent from this image, this tall stork has very long legs. If attempting to compare to human anatomy, it is easy to mistakenly think that it is resting on its knees and that birds’ legs bend forward, the opposite of humans. However, the knees on a bird are higher up and not visible. And they do bend back like human legs. In this image the stork is resting on its tibio-tarsal joints which are the avian equivalents of ankles. And the bones bent forward are the tarsi (plural for tarsus). The portion of the leg that is vertical in this shot is the tibia, or the drumstick on a bird, like a chicken or turkey, when eaten as food. A little lesson in bird anatomy for your Sunday. Photographed in Serengeti National Park, February 5, 2017

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