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.’
- ‘In the pectoral girdle, fused clavicles, or a furcula, are now known in many theropods.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘However, its feathers, wings, furcula and reduced fingers are all characteristics of modern birds.’
- ‘I would like to see if the furcula, or wishbone, is present.’
- ‘Such analyses have shown that some features considered to be typically avian, such as the furcula, first appeared in carnivorous dinosaurs.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘As the neotheropods emerged as a separate group, they shared an important ‘birdlike’ trait - the furcula, often (in birds) called the wishbone.’
- ‘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.’
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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