One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The wishbone of a bird.
- ‘Well, it is actually a wishbone, the furcula is the wishbone and it is made up of the clavicles fused together in the middle.’
- ‘However, its feathers, wings, furcula and reduced fingers are all characteristics of modern birds.’
- ‘Among other features, birds have a structure that they share with dromaeosaurs: a fused clavicle called the furcula, which serves as a brace during the flight stroke.’
- ‘Archaeopteryx was a true bird, because it had a birdlike skull, perching foot, fully-formed flight feathers, a modern-looking elliptical wing, a furcula and avian lung design.’
- ‘I would like to see if the furcula, or wishbone, is present.’
- ‘In the pectoral girdle, fused clavicles, or a furcula, are now known in many theropods.’
- ‘As the neotheropods emerged as a separate group, they shared an important ‘birdlike’ trait - the furcula, often (in birds) called the wishbone.’
- ‘But clavicles are now known from a variety of nonavian dinosaurs, and a fused furcula is present in several nonavian theropods, including allosauroids and tyrannosaurids.’
- ‘The furcula, a fused clavicle, serves as a brace during the flight stroke; it's visible in the pictures above as a large Y-shaped bone ahead of the sternum.’
- ‘Such analyses have shown that some features considered to be typically avian, such as the furcula, first appeared in carnivorous dinosaurs.’
2The forked appendage at the end of the abdomen in a springtail, by which the insect jumps.
Mid 19th century: from Latin, diminutive of furca ‘fork’.
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