Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 156, Supplement 1, pp 317–323 | Cite as

Comparative anatomy of the intertarsal joint in extant and fossil birds: inferences for the locomotion of Hesperornis regalis (Hesperornithiformes) and Emeus crassus (Dinornithiformes)

  • Andrei V. Zinoviev


Reconstruction of the soft tissues (i.e., collateral ligaments, Lig. anticum, menisci, tendon of the M. fibularis brevis) involved in the mechanism of intertarsal joint stabilization in two species of extinct birds, Hesperornis regalis and Emeus crassus, allowed insights into their locomotion. The foot-propelled diving of Hesperornis included loon-like movement of the tarsometatarsus and grebe-like movement of the toes. Movement of the tarsometatarsus in Emeus was restricted to the parasagittal plane, thus resembling those of other Ratites and most highly cursorial birds.


Musculature Ligaments Reconstruction Hind limbs Intertarsal joint 



I am grateful to Oliver Hampe (Natural History Museum, Humboldt University of Berlin) for access to specimens and a comfortable research environment. I would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments that greatly contributed to improving the final version of the article. The research was partially supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Program “Forschungsaufenthalte für Hochschullehrer und Wissenschaftler.”


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyTver State UniversityTverRussia

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