“I AM smiling”


It always seems like Carson is frowning, but luckily that look doesn’t reflect her mood. Her apparently furrowed brow is built into her skull. Hawks and eagles have a prominent ridge that extends over the eye. This “supraorbital ridge” (supra = above; orbital = eye) acts like the visor on a baseball hat, shielding the eye from direct sun. Red-tailed hawks often soar high in the sky or hunt in open fields where there is little shade, so their built-in visor helps them see clearly on a sunny day.

Even if Carson looks angry while she soaks in the sun, she may very well be saying, “I AM smiling!”

RTHA skull.JPG
The supraorbital ridges extend like wings above the eyes as seen from above on this Red-tailed Hawk skull.

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