Wednesday, 13 March 2013

#404 In the studio: Bird anatomy . . .

From  a bird sculptor's point of view, the skeleton is the most important part of the anatomy.  The sculptor must know how the bones are arranged and how they articulate before attempting to define muscles or feathers.  

Below, is a drawing of the skeleton of a bird's wing compared to the skeleton of the human arm.  

Drawing, copyright - Sandy Scott

Below, is a drawing of the bird's skeleton showing the arrangement of flight feathers on the wing.   
The secondaries of the inner wing are attached to the ulna and the primaries of the outer wing 
are attached to the bones of the bird's "hand".

The bird's "hand"make up the outermost wing bones.  Some metacarpals are missing, some are fused together.  
One of the digits is the thumb or alula, a small group of three or four feathers that are attached to this bone.   
The ten primary flight feathers are attached to the "hand".  

Drawing, copyright - Sandy Scott

More about the bird's anatomy, including the alula, flight feathers, and additional feather groups on the next post. 

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