Flippers


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.

Flippers

 

oar-shaped extremities that function as organs of locomotion and as depth and steering rudders in vertebrate animals that have secondarily transferred to aquatic living. Among reptiles, flippers are found in sea turtles, in whom they originated from the anterior and posterior extremities. Many fossil aquatic reptiles also had two pairs of flippers. Among birds, the fore-limbs of penguins were converted to flippers. Among mammals, the pinnipeds have two pairs of flippers; the cetaceans and sireni-ans, whose ancestors had two pairs of flippers, have one pair. The reduction of the posterior flippers in them was caused by the transfer of the locomotive function to the caudal section of the body.

All the skeletal elements of flippers are flattened and located in one plane. The segments of the forearm and lower limb and also of the arm and femur are as a rule greatly foreshortened. The hand and foot are elongated (usually owing to an increase in the number of phalanges). The digits in almost all animals that have flippers lack claws (except pinnipeds). An externally similar form of flippers originated independently in various animals and serves as a classic example of convergence.

References in classic literature ?
Their heads were the most foolish-looking things you ever saw, and they balanced on the ends of their tails in deep water when they weren't grazing, bowing solemnly to each other and waving their front flippers as a fat man waves his arm.
The big things answered by bowing and waving their flippers like the Frog Footman.
Matkah said, fanning herself with her hind flipper.
If you do happen to have an extra joint in your front flipper you needn't show off so.
Dubai: The Indo-Pak Flippers claimed top honours at the inaugural Expatriates Cup indoor cricket tournament that concluded at Insportz last week.
Despite the rise in flipping returns in the second quarter, home flippers should proceed with caution in the next six to 12 months as home price appreciation slows and a possible interest rate increase could shrink the pool of prospective buyers for fix-and-flip homes," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said.
5 to 10 m with about 205 pieces rotating flippers, with about 6 pivoting wing, about 4 flipper RWA;
News reports and real estate investment networking websites indicate that included in the diverse community of individuals investing in real estate in the Bay Area are: house flippers, individual investors with self-directed IRA's interested in investing in single family and multifamily home properties, and family offices and wealth management firms.
So the humpback is always changing the angles of its flippers to create the desired lift with the least drag.
A tournament that drew players from five states was recently held in Waunakee while the Mad City Flippers Pinball League formed last fall and has 20 players.
Many flippers go to money lenders because they can't get banks to provide such short-term, quick financing.
Dubbed "Flipperbot", the robot was designed to test how real-life organisms, such as seals, sea turtles and mudskippers use flippers and fins to move on surfaces such as sand.