The Surrogate Arm: Functional Morphology of the Avian Cervical Column

Ryan Marek
The avian neck allows the head to perform a variety of tasks that would be carried out by the forelimbs in other vertebrates, as the forelimbs are primarily adapted for flight in birds. This has created a strong additional selection pressure on the cervical column and has resulted in the evolution of a vast array of neck morphologies throughout extant birds. This diversity is most evident in the large variation observed in vertebral counts of...
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