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Issue:ISSN 1000-7083
          CN 51-1193/Q
Director:Sichuan Association for Science and Technology
Sponsored by:Sichuan Society of Zoologists; Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation; Sichuan Association of Wildlife Conservation; Sichuan University
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Your Position :Home->Past Journals Catalog->2008 Vol.27 No.4

Hindlimb Segment and Locomotion in Birds: Length Proportion Characteristics and Functions
Author of the article:ZHANG Yu-guang1,LI Zhi-heng2,TIAN Xiao-yang3
Author's Workplace:(1.Beijing Natural History Museum, Beijing 100050, China; 2.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 3. Institute of Geological Sciences of Guangdong Province)
Key Words:birds; hindlimb segment; statistic analysis; length proportion; locomotion
Abstract: The avian hindlimbs, the main structural elements of avian locomotion system and bone component parts, help birds to fulfill their all kinds of functions. The structure of hindlimbs of birds in different ecotype takes on obvious characteristics, from which birds can be distinguished from each other. In this paper, by the large numbers of contrast analyses of structural characteristics of hindlimbs of birds in different types and ecosystems, an elementary conclusion is drown: there is a close relationship between the length ratios of avian hindlimbs, its characteristics and avian functions such as locomotion behavior. The tibiotarsus of hindlimbs of typical terrestrial birds with the characteristic accustomed to walk and run is the longest, and its tarsometatarsus is longer than the femur; while the tibiotarsus of hindlimbs of typical arboreal birds with the characteristic of perching, jumping is the longest, and its femur is longer than the tarsometatarsus; the contrast of length of femur and tarsometatarsus of raptores change between the two former types of birds because its life habit is intervenient of them. Moreover, the intuitionist statistic results by ternary diagrams also account for above conclusion, and try to deduce the locomotion of the different avian hindlimbs. The contrast analyses between system of avian hindlimbs and locomotion function, from the point of view of systematic anatomy, bear direct significance to understand and interpret the locomotion of birds, and above conclusion could be a referential evidence for recovering the length of hindlimbs of ancient bird and determinating its ecological behavior. 
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