Cactus Gallery LA
BEAUTIFUL by artist Annette Hassell
Acrylic on linen, 12” x 6”
About the piece: All birds are living dinosaurs, but the dagger-clawed Cassowary especially looks the part. Wildlife biologists call cassowaries the world's most dangerous bird—and yes, it has been known to kill people. Cassowaries are flightless birds, native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and NE Australia.
Cassowaries are a keystone species of rain forests because they eat fallen fruit whole and distribute seeds across the jungle floor via excrement. The southern cassowary is endangered in Queensland. Habitat loss and fragmentation is the primary cause of decline.
Via Annette: I chose a Cassowary because they are the most dinosaur looking birds remaining on the planet. They are endangered due to residential expansion into their habitat, but they are also savage and one of the most dangerous birds in the world. They can be up to 6' 6" tall , so combined with their scary looks, it's understandable that people don't support them more-they're probably terrified! But I think they're beautiful.