Neognathism

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Neognathism

 

the principal type of palate structure in birds. The term was introduced by the British zoologist W. Py-craft in 1901. Neognathism, which embraces the concepts of schizognathism, desmognathism, and aegithognathism, is counterposed to the older concept of paleognathism, or dromaeognathism, which is characteristic of ratite birds and Crypturiformes. The fusing of the palatines and pterygoids that is characteristic of neognathism ensures greater mobility of the upper jaw in relation to the cranium than in dromaeognathism, thus enabling the execution of more complex operations by the bill.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.