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Synsacrum


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synsacrum
Updated: 2015-07-27T09:07Z
This stylised bird skeleton highlights the synsacrum
Synsacrum of an unidentified bird

The synsacrum is a skeletal structure of birds and dinosaurs, in which the sacrum is extended by incorporation of additional fused or partially fused caudal or lumbar vertebrae. The innominate bones are fused with the synsacrum to a greater or lesser extent, according to species, forming an avian pelvis. This forms a more extensive rigid structure than the pelvis of a mammal, fulfilling requirements for flight, locomotion and respiration. Posterior to the synsacrum there are a few free caudal vertebrae, the last of which is the pygostyle to which the long, stiff tail feathers are attached. The central section of the synsacrum is swollen to accommodate the glycogen body, an organ whose function is as yet unclear but which may be associated with balance.

In terms of external morphology, the synsacrum corresponds to the rump.

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