Laminar bone as an adaptation to torsional loads in flapping flight


Emmanuel de Margerie, CNRS UMR 8570, 2, place Jussieu, case 7077, 75251 Paris Cedex 05, France. E-mail:


Using a new histometric method, the orientation of primary osteons was measured in the main long bones of adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). In the light of previous biomechanical and ontogenetic studies, a functional hypothesis is proposed, explaining the histological differences observed between long bones; laminar bone tissue, mainly found in the wing bones, may be a biomechanical adaptation to torsional loads caused by flapping flight.