Anatomy and histochemistry of flight muscles in a wing‐propelled diving bird, the Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica

  title={Anatomy and histochemistry of flight muscles in a wing‐propelled diving bird, the Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica},
  author={Christopher E. Kovacs and Ron A Meyers},
  journal={Journal of Morphology},
Twenty-three species within the avian family Alcidae are capable of wing-propelled flight in the air and underwater. [] Key Method pectoralis, supracoracoideus, latissimus dorsi caudalis, coracobrachialis caudalis, triceps scapularis, and scapulohumeralis caudalis) from Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) to assess if the muscle fiber types reveal the existence of a compromise associated with "dual-medium" flight. Pectoralis was found to be proportional in size with that of nondiving species, although the…

Anatomy and histochemistry of spread‐wing posture in birds. 3. Immunohistochemistry of flight muscles and the “shoulder lock” in albatrosses

It is suggested that albatrosses utilize a combination of slow muscle fibers and a rigid limiting tendon for maintaining a prolonged, gliding posture.

A Quantitative and Comparative Analysis of the Muscle Architecture of the Forelimb Myology of Diurnal Birds of Prey (Order Accipitriformes and Falconiformes)

Numerical information of muscle architecture of the avian wing that helps to understand muscle function and its implication in flight, and can be used in future studies of flight mechanics, is provided.

Fiber type homogeneity of the flight musculature in small birds.

  • K. C. WelchD. Altshuler
  • Biology
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology
  • 2009

Functional morphology of the forelimb musculature reflects flight and foraging styles in aquatic birds

The distribution of mass in the wing muscles of the aquatic birds seemed to be related to flight and foraging style and showed non-significant influence of shared phylogenetic history, which is consistent with previous results of scaling in wings of raptors.

Anatomy and histochemistry of hindlimb flight posture in birds. I. The extended hindlimb posture of shorebirds

Contrary to the hypothesis, all muscles possessed both fast twitch and slow twitch or slow tonic fibers, which is due to the versatility of dynamic and postural functions the leg muscles must facilitate, including standing, walking, running, swimming, and hindlimb support during flight.

Wing and hindlimb myology of vultures and raptors (Accipitriformes) in relation to locomotion and foraging

The results provide a baseline for future lines of inquiry aimed at understanding how muscle mass and CSA are affected differentially across locomotor modules, possibly in response to differential demands on wing and hindlimb function experienced by these disparate accipitriform clades.

Osteological Histology of the Pan‐Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes): Correlates of Wing‐Propelled Diving and Flightlessness

The first osteohistological study of the derived forelimbs and hind limbs of wing‐propelled diving Pan‐Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes) is presented, suggesting that it is possible to discern volant from flightless wing-propelled divers from fragmentary fossil remains.

Muscle architecture of the forelimb of the Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) (Aves: Phasianidae) and its implications for functional capacity in flight

These observations illustrate the underlying structural basis for the functional capacities of the distal forelimb muscles and may provide additional information useful in further biomechanical and in vivo investigations.

The effects of intense wing molt on diving in alcids and potential influences on the evolution of molt patterns

  • E. Bridge
  • Biology
    Journal of Experimental Biology
  • 2004
Within-bird comparisons of diving performance when wings were intact and during several stages of wing molt indicated that molt is associated with more frequent flapping, reduced displacement during the flap cycle, and possibly reduced work per flap.

Kinematics of diving Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica L.): evidence for an active upstroke.

The results show that the Atlantic puffin can use an active upstroke during diving, in contradiction to previous data, and it is suggested that the partly folded wings of diving puffins might act as efficient aft-swept wingtips, reducing the induced drag and increasing the lift-to-drag ratio.



Anatomy and histochemistry of spread‐wing posture in birds. 2. Gliding flight in the California Gull, Larus californicus: A paradox of fast fibers and posture

It is hypothesized that fast muscle fibers may function to maintain wing position during gliding flight in California gulls, which lack the deep belly to the pectoralis found in other gliding birds.

Anatomy and histochemistry of spread‐wing posture in birds. I. Wing drying posture in the double‐crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus

The double‐crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus, was used as a model for this study of spread‐wing posture and muscles capable of positioning and maintaining the wing in extension and protraction were assayed histochemically for the presence of slow (postural) muscle fibers.

Biochemical adaptations to diving in the common murre, Uria aalge, and the Atlantic puffin, Fratercula arctica

Diving does not require major modifications of the overall metabolic design of muscle used by a bird which is capable of sustained aerobic flight, and it is suggested that alcids do not rely upon glycolysis to any considerable extent during flight or diving.

Neuromuscular Organization for “Wing” Control in a Mollusc (Clione limacina) and a Bird (Columba livia): Parallels in Design

Preliminary data suggest that the peripheral neuromuscular systems of Clione and Columba share some common components for the execution of at least two distinct modes of flapping locomotion.

Neuromuscular organization of avian flight muscle: Morphology and contractile properties of motor units in the pectoralis (pars thoracicus) of pigeon (Columba livia)

Differences in fascicle organization, fiber morphology, and physiological and anatomical features of individual motor units of an in‐series muscle, the pectoralis of the pigeon, support the hypothesis that FG units are organized to produce substantial force and power for takeoff, landing and other ballistic movements whereas FOG units are suited for sustained flight when power requirements are reduced.

The contractile properties of the M. supracoracoideus In the pigeon and starling: a case for long-axis rotation of the humerus

It is proposed that, at the downstroke-upstroke transition, variable levels of co-contraction of the M. pectoralis and SC interact to provide a level of kinematic control at the shoulder that would not be possible were the two antagonists to work independently.

Forelimb joint mobility and the evolution of wing-propelled diving in birds

Wing joint mobility in penguins, alcids, diving-petrels, and nondiving fliers is measured and it is found that the conversion of an aerial wing to a flipper must be possible only after the evolutionary loss of flight.

Energy Metabolism in the Locomotor Muscles of the Common Murre (Uria aalge) and the Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

--To compare the metabolic systems that support the combination of flying and diving with those used to support burst flying and sustained flying, myoglobin concentrations and maximum enzyme

Morphometrics of Flightlessness in the Alcidae

Analysis of skeletal measurements revealed that the genera of flightless Alcidae were characterized by relatively short distal wing elements and dorsoventral flattening of all major wing elements, in combination with relatively large core and pelvic dimensions, which were most pronounced in Mancalla.

Capillarity and Fibre Types in Locomotory Muscles of Wild Yellow‐Legged Gulls (Larus cachinnans)

Findings are seen as an adaptive response for gliding, when the wing is held outstretched by isometric contractions, and the predominance of oxidative fibres and capillary densities under 1,000 capillaries mm02 in leg muscles is probably a consequence of an adapta‐tion for slow swimming and maintenance of the posture on land rather than for other locomotory capabilities, such as endurance or sprint activities.