Definition of furcula in English:



  • 1A forked organ or structure, in particular.

    • ‘The legs are long and the furcula is well developed.’
    • ‘In general appearance the furcula resembles that of an albatross.’
    • ‘Thus, if the furcula shared by many higher theropods and birds can be ignored as uninformative, how can one argue that the presence of furcula in Megalancosaurus or Longisquama is somehow a valid character?’
    • ‘In place of wings, these primitive insects possess forked tail-like structures known as furculae, which they use to leap for great distances.’
    • ‘Data from alligator embryos are challenging the long-held homology of clavicles and furculae; a furcula - interclavicle homology is equally plausible.’
    • ‘Unfortunately for Heilmann, the fossil evidence was somewhat sparse in his day and the few theropod furculae that had been found were misidentified, usually as belly ribs.’
    • ‘Releasing the tenaculum causes the furcula to snap down against the substrate and flip the organism some distance through the air.’
    • ‘Allosaurus certainly didn't fly, so the function of the furcula in Allosaurus remains a scientific mystery.’
    • ‘Coracoid and furcula are fused to the sternum (unique in birds).’
    • ‘According to a website maintained by Chicago paleontologist Dr. Paul Sereno, a paleontological field crew has discovered a Suchomimus skeleton with a furcula in the Sahara Desert.’
    • ‘The common name refers to the ability of these small arthropods to jump using their tail-like furcula.’
    • ‘‘Little forks,’ furculae, or taken separately the furculae inferiores, which they distinguish in that way from the lower part of the pectoral bone.’
    • ‘Megalancosaurus has grasping feet and a straplike scapular blade, Longisquama has structures that resemble a furcula and feathers, and Euparkeria has cranial features found in birds.’
    • ‘The Allosaurus fragilis's furcula was misidentified for years as gastralia.’
    • ‘Once variation in BSA is understood, the functional morphology of the furcula can be tackled in a holistic fashion.’
    1. 1.1The wishbone of a bird.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I would like to see if the furcula, or wishbone, is present.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the neotheropods emerged as a separate group, they shared an important ‘birdlike’ trait - the furcula, often (in birds) called the wishbone.’
      • ‘Such analyses have shown that some features considered to be typically avian, such as the furcula, first appeared in carnivorous dinosaurs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2The 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.