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Re: Why did the vertebrae of birds fuse together?

At 10:36 AM 16/11/00 +0200, Henri Rönkkö wrote:
A thought of mine and quite possibly someone else's too is that the stiffened back is advantageous to the bird because a flying animal with a flexible back would deform all the time, and thus its aerodynamic properties would be spoilt. Indeed, humans have built no physically, literally flexible flying machines. Flexing the back might also change the moment arm of the guts about the glenoid. This would happen all the time, thus making the bird unstable.

I believe this is the usual explanation.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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