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


A forked structure, especially the wishbone of fowl.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



or wishbone, an arc-shaped bone of the shoulder girdle of birds, formed by the connate clavicles.

The furcula may be connected to the sternum, while its upper ends are connected with the scapulae and coracoid bones. The furcula gives the shoulder girdle elasticity. This structure has existed since the time of the archeopteryx. It is well developed in birds that fly easily and less so in those that fly poorly. In some parrots and owls the furcula is not connate, but both its branches are connected by a fibrous ligament. In flightless ratite birds the furcula is rudimentary, and the clavicles are either not joined or absent altogether, as in the kiwi or the extinct moa.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Computed tomography scan, ventral view, of a 3-dimmensional musculoskeletal reconstruction demonstrating the sternum bifurcation (white arrow) and the fusion of the furcula and the sternum (black arrow) of the hatch-year red-tailed hawk described in Fig 1.
IV, head, coxa, trochanter, femur, body and anterior and posterior face of furcula (manubrium and dens).
Avian furcula morphology may indicate relationships of flight requirements among birds.
El orden agrupa a los colembolos de cuerpo alargado, con apendices generalmente largos (antenas, patas y furcula).
Between her neck and ribcage, Sue also has an enormous forked wish bone, or furcula: the first ever found in a T.
Furcula very reduced, dens with 3 setae, mucro minute or lacking.
Furcula absent (posterior margin of 10th abdominal segment is the transverse divide of the supra-anal plate).
The furcula was asymmetrical because the left clavicle was slightly thinner and more radiolucent than the right and was also slightly deviated to the right side.
8, electro scanning microphotographs of furcula posterior view; and 9, mucro antero-median view.
Medial carina of the second abdominal segment of the female devoid of any anterior tubercle (differentiates from Pararhicnoderma.) Tenth abdominal tergite completely divided; male furcula absent.
Furcula represented by two, digitiform, robust projections as long as broad, with rounded apex.
The furcula is represented by short, subtriangular, rounded lobes and the male supra-anal plate is subtriangular.