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Issue:ISSN 1000-7083
          CN 51-1193/Q
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Your Position :Home->Past Journals Catalog->2006 Vol.25 No.1

Morphology of Distal Tarsometatarsus and Perching Habits in Birds
Author of the article:ZHANG Yu-guang1,2
Author's Workplace:(1. Beijing Natural History Museum, Beijing 100050; 2. Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Key Words:living bird; fossil bird; tarsometatarsus; shape and structure; terrestrial; arboreal
Abstract:By comparing the morphological variations of the tarsometatarsus of living birds, it has been concluded that the morphology of the distal tarsometatarsus of birds can be used as an indicator of their habits. The tarsometatarsus of terrestrial birds is characteristic of a “triangle” distal end, which is made up of the trochleae of metatarsals ,while the tarsometatarsus of arboreal birds is characteristic of a “roller” distal end, which is made up of trochleae of metatarsals on the same plane. Using the distinction in the distal tarsometatarsus to determine the habits of some Mesozoic birds proved to be consistent with the conclusions derived from other morphological evidence. It appears that the morphology of the distal tarsometatarsus can be used as an useful tool in reconstructing the habits of fossil bird and bears significantly on the study of the origin of perching habits in avian evolution.
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