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This just in..
POORE, S.O., ASHCROFT, A., SANCHEZ-HAIMAN, A.
and GOSLOW, G.E. 1997. The contractile properties of the m.
supracoracoideus in the pigeon and starling: a case for long-axis
rotation of the humerus. _The Journal of Experimental Biology_ 200:
As the title says, this paper is mostly about role of the SC in two
extant birds. It's worthy of attention here, however, in that the
observations are extended to Mesozoic birds who, in lacking
morphologically derived SC muscles typical of modern flying birds,
would not have had such well developed high-velocity recovery strokes
and therefore would have had more limited flight abilities.
Evolution of the SC has allowed the development of a large rotational
component to humeral movement in birds - Poore at al. argue that this
'..was an important step in the evolution of the wing upstroke and in
the ability to supinate (circumflex) the manus in early upstroke, a
movement fundamental to recucing air resistance during the recovery
Humeral rotation has been described for pterosaurs: a paper by
Hazlehurst and Rayner puts the argument best I recall.
"I'm hungrier than a brachiosaur on a low-fern diet"
Why am I mentioned in the current SVP newsletter? Can someone tell me
please - I haven't seen it.