Alex Duncan (
6 Oct 1995 14:42:00 GMT

In article <44rvcv$> Bob Aduddell, writes:

>Say what? Turkeys and pheasant (just to name two) have knees that
>bend opposite to humans. As far as tetrapods, are we talking front
>or back legs? On deer, dogs, elk, sheep, etc., the back legs
>have knees that bend the opposite way from the front legs. Am I
>missing something here??

Whee!! Got another one!

First off -- to anyone who didn't find it obvious -- I posted the
original quote from HM Hubey to make the point that we have someone here
who knows next to nothing about standard vertebrate anatomy, and yet
feels competent to lecture us on the merits of AAT. (See Hubey's
exclamation of surprise on being informed that ALL primates have long,
grasping fingers.)

And, as far as birds go -- it certainly looks like their knees point
backwards. However, if you look closely you'll see that what appears to
be a knee is really a tibiotarsal joint. There is another joint more
proximal to the hip, that is often obscured by feathers and other aspects
of avian anatomy. That more proximal joint is the knee. Take a close
look the next time you serve a whole chicken or turkey. The "drum stick"
is the calf.

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086