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Keywords:

  • Anas platyrhynchos;
  • bone histology;
  • bone microstructure;
  • primary osteon;
  • shear;
  • torsion

Abstract

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.