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Uh oh, a “why?” question in biology! There are many potential, and not mutually exclusive, answers to such questions. Ultimately there is a historical, evolutionary answer that underpins it all (“ostriches evolved two kneecaps because…”). But we like ostrich knees and their funky double-kneecaps (patellae; singular = patella) so we wanted to know why they […]

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Last year we finally, after about 14 years of slow work, released our biomechanical model of an ostrich’s hindleg. We showed how it informed us about the potential leverages (moment arms; contributions to mechanical advantage of the joints) of all of the muscles. It was a satisfying moment, to understate it, to finally publish this […]

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And I post my blog and stare Into x-rays of an ostrich I’ve always known that radiographs never lie People always say “that’s cool” To see x-rays of an ostrich So keen to know what Lies behind the skin (evolved from “Eyes of A Stranger” by Queensrÿche, from the epic masterpiece of Operation: Mindcrime (1988). […]

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Freezermas continues! Today we have a treat for you. Lots of detailed anatomy! This post comes from my team’s dissections of an ostrich last week (~3-7 February 2014), which I’ve been tweeting about as part of a larger project called the Open Ostrich. However, before I go further, it’s as important as ever to note […]

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Like other birds, ostriches are fluffy. Too fluffy for some anatomists– so fluffy, it’s hard imagining or estimating what they look like beneath all the feathers. A few years ago, we received an ostrich from a UK farmer. The male bird had been killed by a kick to the neck from another rival, and at […]

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I’m a few months late on the six-year anniversary of this blog but finally found some time. (For year 5 go here) It was seemed to be another quiet year on the blog because it was not a quiet year for work or other aspects of life. The DAWNDINOS project got into full swing and there […]

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An epiphysean Sispyhean task today: solve this mystery that has been bothering me for >15 years. It’s about bird knees. Read on. Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10- bones and brief words. Nothing to worry about. Here is an ostrich. I was interviewing undergrads the other day and looked up to see it, then thought something like: “Oh […]

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As 2017 approaches its end, there have been a few papers I’ve been involved in that I thought I’d point out here while I have time. Our DAWNDINOS project has been taking up much of that time and you’ll see much more of that project’s work in 2018, but we just published our first paper […]

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Putting my morphologist hat back on today, I had an opportunity to dissect an Elegant-crested tinamou (Eudromia elegans) for the second time in my life. The last time was during my PhD work ~20 years ago. In today’s dissection I was struck by another reminder of how studying anatomy is a lifelong learning experience and […]

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‘Full fathom five thy father lies, of his bones are coral made. Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange.’ (Shakespeare’s The Tempest Act 1, Scene 2) Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10- this time, tame images. Five years have passed on this blog now, […]

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