Thursday, November 26, 2009

Raptors killing in the wild

Hat tip to Terrierman for this one. It is a good read from the DC Birding Blog about raptors, talons, and how they kill their prey in the wild.

Given the prominent role that a raptor's feet play in seizing prey, it makes sense that the shape of their feet might vary with how a raptor uses them. This is in fact the result reached by a team of graduate students after they photographed and measured the feet of hundreds of bird specimens, both raptors and non-raptors. (Most specimens were held by Montana State University; others were from the American Museum of Natural History.)

Give it a read.


Camera Trap Codger said...

Most interesting. The subject matters reminded me of a graduate student at UC Davis back in the 60s, who studied killing techniques in raptors using high speed cinematography. A student of M. Hildebrand. As I recall he relied heavily on trained birds, and the photography was amazing to see. I guess it was never published or maybe it was lost on the archives of time.

Doug said...

It is definitely food for thought. Too often i take stuff like this for granted without thinking it through thoroughly. Thanks for the comment.