One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the legs of many mammals, birds, and dinosaurs) a ridge at the front of the head of the tibia or tibiotarsus to which the main extensor muscle of the thigh is attached.
- ‘The cnemial crest is a rather enormous proximal extension of the tibiotarsus and sticks out beyond the distal end of the femur.’
- ‘A cnemial crest extends along the dorsal surface of the proximal end of the tibia.’
- ‘Both are broken near mid length, below the cnemial crest.’
- ‘The tibia has an L-shaped distal articular surface (since it articulates with two tarsals) and a cnemial crest’
Late 19th century: cnemial, from Greek knēmē ‘tibia’ + -al.
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