I found the following details surprising:
- the location of the hinge for birds' jaws -- rather than at the back of the bill, it's way back in the head. I read that in the John Muir Laws book too.
- the large keel-shaped breast bone for the attachment of the wing muscles -- it's such a significant portion of the skeleton
- that, often the bird's skull appears so small compared with the skeleton -- especially for the turkey with its relatively massive body. Of course, this applies to dog and cat skeletons I've seen as well. But human skulls appear to be relatively larger, in proportion to the body. The proportions do vary on the age of the human.
- long length of the bird's neck and number of vertebrae. I understand that greater number of vertebrae bestow the gift of greater mobility of the head.
- relatively stubby arms. Long primary feathers fool my brain into thinking that there is a bone way out there at the wingtip, when in reality the "thumb" lands at the division between primary and secondary feathers and the "fingers" stop maybe halfway out to the tips of the primary segment of the wings. In Wendy's sketch the arms are extended; however, in the chicken and turkey skeletons I've seen, the arms are drawn towards the body -- the way that these types of birds naturally hold their wings.
Greg; Mpls, MN
Urban back yard with red and white cedars, pagoda dogwoods