Birds knees

To: <>
Subject: Birds knees
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2008 21:22:34 +1000
Nothing new.  This just confirms what has been said, but it might be of some

The (928 page) "A New* Dictionary of Birds: ed. Sir A. Landsborough Thomson
(Nelson 1964), in the entry for "leg":

    "The main components are the thigh, the lower leg (equivalent to the
shin), the so-called tarsus, and the toes - corresponding osteologically
with the femur, the tibiotarsus plus fibula, the fused tarsometatarsus (with
one free metatarsal where there are four toes), and the digit phalanges (see
    "The joints between these components are the knee, the inter-tarsal
joint or ankle, and the joints of the toes; as most birds stand on their
toes, the raised ankle is often popularly mistaken for a knee (the real knee
being concealed in the plumage) although it bends in the reverse direction."

(I can't, alas, show the illustration in a b-aus posting.)



[* Well, it was new in '64.]


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