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acrylic on illustration board 24" x 18"
|Four genera of huge, mysterious softshell turtles inhabit the Asian continent. On the Indian subcontinent, this group is represented by the endangered Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica), which haunts slower waters of the Ganges, Godavari, Mahanadi, Satluj and Indus drainages. The shells of these highly aquatic turtles can exceed a meter in length. Their diet consists of fish and aquatic invertebrates along with some plant matter. The females climb onto land to lay their egg clutches, which can contain over one hundred eggs. Although it's poorly known, this turtle is threatened by water pollution and redistribution, and by extensive hunting for its cartilaginous rim or 'calipee,' which is considered a delicacy. The striking Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) enjoys a spotty range, in wet areas over much of Tropical Asia. It is closely related to the American Wood Stork (M. americana). This composition is based on the Khanda, the symbol of Sikhism. Incidental subjects in the painting include the invasive Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Tailed Green Jay Swallowtail (Graphium agammemnon), Twin-banded Loach (Botia rostrata), Zebrafish (Danio rerio), and Skittering Frog (Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis).|