Morphometric Analysis of the Sternum in Avian Species


Abstract: The anatomy of the sternum in avian species differs according to their movement and particularly flight capability, as well as species and habitat. Various studies aimed at the examination and measurement of the sternum in avian species have been carried out. However, to the authors' knowledge, no study on the correlation between sternal measurements and movement style has been published previously. In this study, the sternums of certain avian species including the red falcon (Buteo rufinus), rooster (Gallus domesticus), drake (Anas platyrhynches), bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), pigeon (Columba livia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), eagle owl (Bubo bubo), goose (Anser anser) and turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) were investigated as 3 different habitant groups (I-flying, II- swimming and III- walking). Data analysis revealed a correlation between movement style and sternum measurements in avian species. In the swimming birds that were examined, the width (W) of the sternums was greater than the height (H), and W/H ranged between 1.56 and 1.95 mm. In contrast, the height of the sternum was greater than the width in walking birds and W/H was between 0.50 and 0.68 mm. In the flying birds the width and height of the sternum were approximately equal and W/H ranged between 0.96 and 1.35 mm.

Keywords: Birds, flight capability, osteology, sternum

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