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Re: The beak of C. dui



>> Some charadriiform birds have upturned rostra (like
the recurvirostrids [turnstones, etc.]) with which
they use to probe under stones, or flip them over, to
pry open clams/oysters, etc. The upturned bill
decreases stresses to the dorsal surface of the beak,
bony or keratinous, and so effort applied in the
direction of the curve reduces resistance, and
increases the bird's ability to open the clam or flip
the stone. Such a function can be applied to
*Confuciusornis* (note: a perfectly strait bill is
required for the woodpecker "drill" adaptation, for
translation of force directly through the skull into
the spine).<<

You refer to turnstones and plovers (Honored Person :) Betty Cunningham
made a similar remark), but the rest of the body of C. dui, with its
long torso, short legs, and large wings, is distinctly un-ploverlike
(well, it could be that the skeleton of a turnstone or a plover looks
very different from the body outline). I agree that the upturned snout
would be useless as a wood-hammer.

>>Wings, flight. Aspect
ratio is really the important thing here, but do the
wings taper significantly?

<<
I have only one picture (not a photograph) of C. dui drawn by Tracy
Ford.  In this picture, the wings _do_ seem to taper.

Thanks for the help, Honored Person Headden (maybe I should say "HP" for
short, or "Comrade".)

Dan