Urban Bush Thickknees on knees in birds.

To: "Peter Shute" <>, "Greg & Val Clancy" <>, <>
Subject: Urban Bush Thickknees on knees in birds.
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 23:39:06 +1000
Peter and Greg both wrote: "Forgetting the problem of birds not having knees" 
and "Birds don't have knees".

Sorry Peter and Greg but where did you figure that weird idea from? Of course 
all birds have knees! Just have a look at the cooked chooks in the poultry 
shop. The knee is between the femur and the lower leg, and hinged backward just 
as in all limbed vertebrates. Without knees no bird could walk or land after 
flying. The issue is that the knees of living birds are in the body and covered 
by the feathers and not normally detectable unless the bird is taking big steps 
or has the legs extended. The joint that is most obvious in what appears to be 
the middle of all birds' legs is the ankle (much the same as in a horse for 
example). It is us humans that are odd, in that we walk on our whole foot so 
our ankle is close to the ground. The names are wrong, just as a Red-kneed 
Dotterel has red ankles and a Black-shouldered Kite has black forearms.


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