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is a forked bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...
found in bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...
s, formed by the fusion of the two clavicle
In human anatomy, the clavicle or collar bone is a long bone of short length that serves as a strut between the scapula and the sternum. It is the only long bone in body that lies horizontally...
s. In birds, its function is the strengthening of the thoracic
The thorax is a division of an animal's body that lies between the head and the abdomen.-In tetrapods:...
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...
to withstand the rigors of flight
Flight is the process by which an object moves either through an atmosphere or beyond it by generating lift or propulsive thrust, or aerostatically using buoyancy, or by simple ballistic movement....
The following theropods have been found to have furculae: dromaeosaurids (including a new North American species of Velociraptor
Velociraptor is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that existed approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Two species are currently recognized, although others have been assigned in the past. The type species is V. mongoliensis; fossils...
), Oviraptorids, Tyrannosaurids, Troodontids, Coelophysids and Allosauroids.
In popular culture
The furcula is commonly referred to as a wishbone
because of the tradition that when two people hold the two sides of the bone and pull it apart, the one who gets the larger part will have a wish
A wish is a hope or desire for something. Fictionally, wishes can be used as plot devices. In folklore, opportunities for "making a wish" or for wishes to "come true" or "be granted" are themes that are sometimes used.-In literature:...
granted. Today the wishbone, once removed from the turkey or chicken, is first dried and then held between the little fingers of two opposing "wishers". Once the wish has been made the bone is pulled by each person. The wisher who breaks off a larger section of bone is assumed to have his wish granted. Alternatively, the winner of this contest may choose to transfer the fragment of the wishbone, along with the wish, to a person of his choosing. Because this is commonly a Thanksgiving tradition, this bone is also called the Thanksgiving bone
In the Southern United States, it is also referred to as pulley bone
, especially when served as a piece of chicken with meat from both adjacent breasts attached.