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acrylic on illustration board 22 x 30
Practically every region on earth with large expanses of tropical rainforest has given rise to a species of large and powerful forest eagle that reigns as top predator of the canopy. In the jungles of Central Africa, the Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) fills this niche. Swift and agile, this avian tiger spends hours aloft, lazily drifting over the treetops. When prey is sighted, it dashes into the upper branches to snatch its quarry, which is often a monkey. One of the most widespread forest monkeys of the region is the Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus mona), which ranges across the equatorial forest belt from Senegal to Uganda. Often living in large troops of over a dozen individuals, they move about through the canopy feeding on fruits, leaves, and small creatures. Incidental animals in the piece include a Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), Eastern Wattled Cuckoo-Shrike (Lobotos oriolinus), Sabines Spine-tailed Swift (Raphidura sabini), an orb spider (Nephila sp.), an assassin bug (family Reduviidae), and African Honey Bees (Apis melliflora).