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RE: chicken wing-claws
> Are you referring to carpal spurs, which are present on the wings of a
> number of birds? (This feature is what gives the 'spur-winged plover' its
> name.) Thus, these "wingclaws" of chickens and ducks would not be
> homologous to the claws (unguals) of the hoatzin.
Good question! All I know from the observations I made in my chicken coot is
that from the egg 'til the pot (and my dog's stomach) that claw passes from a
facsimile of a foot claw to a conical keratinous "spur" but the structure of
the allula, in that respect, is too much alike a dinosaurian finger to be a
spur. In fact I'd like to know what structure do those plover and other birds
spurs. <notices "_carpal_ spurs"> Ohh! It's an allular claw. Sorry 'bout not
telling it firstplace. :-(
> Wing spurs and wing knobs are used in intraspecific combat, AFAIK. They
> have been known to come off during a contest and remain lodged in the body
> of the other bird.
In this case they're only vestigial.