Ornithology Terms- EBIO 420/720



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List of Terms

Skeletal Adaptations for Flight

 -- Forearms modified as wings
 -- Streamlined shape of body
 -- Hollow, lightweight bones, strong and elastic
 -- Internal struts in some wing bones
 -- Highly fused skeleton (synsacrum, head, hands)
 -- Powerful and highly modified joints in the forelimbs (carpometacarpus, allula)
 -- Keeled sternum or breastbone (carina)
 -- Furcula (clavicle or wishbone)
  -- No teeth or heavy jaw (lightweight bill and muscular gizzard)
 -- Pelvic and pectoral girdles are relatively large / strong
 -- Uncinate processes on ribs

 Physiological Adaptations For Flight:

 -- Feathers
 -- Efficient metabolism
 -- Efficient respiratory system (air sacs etc...)
 -- Uric acid excretory system
 -- Warm blood, four-chambered heart, strong circulatory system
 -- Powerful flight muscles, the pectoralis (down) and supracoracoideus (up)
 -- Shell forms late in egg development
 -- Sex organs atrophy outside breeding season

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This page was last updated on 1/24/07