One of the most common complaints of the stick-in-the-mud 'I heart the 1990s' crowd regarding fully feathered-up restorations of (predominantly) dromaeosaurs is that they end up resembling some form of oversized, toothy poultry, typically chickens or turkeys. Obviously, this is absurd foremost because there are plenty of birds with better public images to choose from when making such a comparison. On the other hand, it also implies that the person lodging said complaint hasn't been around turkeys recently, because turkeys are awesome. The little brat in Jurassic Park clearly didn't consider that even a literal six foot turkey would be potentially bloody terrifying. Particularly if it had long fingers with huge claws to grab you with.
More than this, turkeys - being very familiar and common domestic birds (I'm referring to Meleagris gallopavo here) - are excellent for education. Tom Holtz wrote a superb guest post for Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings back in 2009, which included a handy diagram illustrating the dinosaurian traits of a turkey's skeleton. In addition, their often quite grotesque and fantastical facial protuberances (which Darren Naish has blogged about before) are a perfect demonstration of how sexual selection can produce some truly bizarre results, and also how a living animal can look very different from what its skeleton might imply. While pointing out how this can be applied to palaeoart is not remotely new (SV-POW did it ages ago, for example, and one can point to a lot of Luis Rey's work), there's no harm in delivering a timely reminder now and then.
Really, though, this whole post was just an excuse to publish photos of some freaky freaky turkeys. And here they are. These specimens are to be found roaming free in Tilgate Park Nature Centre. Enjoy! And try not to picture a man-sized turkey waving its gigantic snood in your face. It'll give you nightmares.