Flexible Discriminant Analysis

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The furcula is the main element of avian flight; it is an important origin for flight muscles used in the down stroke. Many biomechanical functions have been suggested for the Furcular. Originally it was thought to play a motionless function, acting as a spacer and muscle for flight. Other studies showed a more active role, where the furcular experience distortions during the wingbeat cycle, where it spread laterally on the down stroke and rebounding during the upstroke, almost acting like a spring. This behavior might represent an energy saving adaptation to help with respiration. Past studies have found that found that subaqueous fliers have more of a V- shaped furcular with a high anteroposterior curvature, whereas soaring bird are more U-shaped with low anteroposterior curvature. This study seeks to clarify this form-function relationship through the use of eigenshape morphometric analysis along with phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs), and phylogenetic Flexible Discriminant Analysis (pFDA). Examination of flight modes revealed that intermittent bounders are associated with narrow interclavicular angles and straight clavicular rami. Short range fliers have a small anteroposterior curvature where larger…show more content…
Past studies showed the strength of the form and function relationship in the avian furcula, while this study examined the form and function in more modern Mesozoic birds. This study revealed that eigenshape analysis of Arvin birds furcular allows for more derived flight modes. This study confirmed that soaring birds have a more U-shaped furcula than continuously-flapping birds. It also observed that the interclavicular angle is an even more important aspect of flight mode than the curvature, and is positively correlated with body size. This study demonstrates that the Mesozoic taxa have evolved unique flight modes through different musculoskeletal
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