Bones of a Bird's Hind Limb

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“Fig 34 - Bones of a bird’s hind limb: from a duck, Clangula islandica. A, hip: B, knee: C, heel or ankle-joint; D, bases of toes. A to B, thigh or “second joint"; B to C, crus, leg proper, “drumstick,” often wrongly called “thigh"; C to D, metatarsus, foot proper, corresponding to instep, or foot from ankle to bases of toes; in descriptive ornithology the tarsus; often called “shank” From D outward are the toes or digits. fm. femur; tb, tibia, principal (inner) bone of leg; fi, fibula, lesser (outer) bone of leg; mt, principal metatarsal bone, consisting chiefly of three fused metatarsal bones; am, accessory metatarsal, bearing 1t, first or hind toe, with two joints; 2t second toe, with three joints; 3t, third toe, with four joints; 4t, fourth toe, with five joints. At C there are in the embryo some small tarsal bones, not shown in the figure, uniting in part with the tibia, which is therefore a tibio-tarsus, in part with the metatarsus, which is therefore a tarso-metatarsus; the ankle-joint being therefore between two rows of tarsal bones, not, as it appears to be, directly between tibia and metatarsus.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Bird Anatomy


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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