Holiday post: Mute Swan

No, this is not the next installment of Theropod Thursday. That’ll be on tomorrow.

This week sees me at the Baltic Sea with the whole family. We’re at a family hotel directly at the sea, which means that I don’t have to bundle everyone into the car each morning to get to the “giant sandbox”, or drag a resisting and tired mob back through town to the hotel each evening. We spent a few days at the same hotel in late March, too, back then in a flat that looked out directly over the beach. Because our youngest likes declaring to night over at 5 a.m., I can start this post with a very nice shot of the very-early-morning beach.

and about two hours later.

These two holidays and previous ones in a different place on the Baltic Sea provided me with a gazillion extant theropod photos, but today I’ll simple stick to one species: Cygnus olor, the Mute Swan.

Most people associate swans with park ponds and other artificial and usually stagnant waters. In part this is caused by the fact that Mute Swans were introduced into North America as decorations for parks and ponds, and because in Europe domestic swans (often also Whooper Swans) were often kept in estates for the very same reason. On the other hand, wild swans pick these very habitats by themselves, too.

But swans like the seashore, too. I’ve seen them heckled by gulls a lot in some places, but where there are few gulls (i.e., where there is little commercial fishing and few tourists throwing unlimited supplies of dried bread at them), you’ll find swans.

The swans spend most of their time either swimming to and fro showing off (“busking”, a threat display; center of last pic, for example), or dabbling. That word would to me be a better metaphor for intentional blindness and non-reactiveness than ‘sticking one’s head into the sand’.

So far, so good – but recently it seems that a post on dinosaurpalaeo is not complete until there is some photogrammetry in it. OK, here goes:

Swan and man tracks next to each other – that’s by shoe, and I am a size 46 (11 UK, 11.5 US). Swans are huge, and have huge feet!

and finally, because I complained the NHM has no feathers in their dino exhibit, here’s a swan feather for you:

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About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
This entry was posted in Aves, Dinopics, Dinosauria, Maniraptora, Theropoda. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Holiday post: Mute Swan

  1. Pingback: Holiday post: S’more Baltic Sea impressions | dinosaurpalaeo

  2. Pingback: Gator track photogrammetry – really WOW! | dinosaurpalaeo

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