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Current interests:








Sense organ of equilibrium in the spinal cord

of birds

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Avian sensory physiology

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Contact
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Office: Lehrstuhl für Tierphysiologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany. Retired July 2005
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Foto: Pressestelle der RUB
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Last update: August 13, 2013

Many birds (see Liste) rest or sleep on one leg. I am interested in the mechanisms and meaning of this behaviour (see Page Standing on one leg)

 

Viele Vögel (s. Liste) ruhen auf einem Bein. Mich interessiert, wie sie das machen und welche Bedeutung dieses Verhalten hat (s.  Seite Stehen auf einem Bein)

The early evolution of birds involves a step where the long tail of reptilian predecessors is reduced and forms a pygostyle at the end where  in extant birds tail feathers (rectrices) insert. Whereas the tail of bipedal theropods could help to keep balance, tail feathers of birds serve flight manœuvres. In addition to a pygostyle avian predecessors developped a synsacrum typical of modern birds. In extant birds this synsacrum houses specializations which seem to function as a sense organ of equilibrium. I am interested in the question whether avian predecessors with a pygostyle and a synsacrum do have these specializations (see page Evolution)

Birds of various size resting on one leg/Vögel verschiedener Größe, die auf einem Bein ruhen
Robin/Rotkehlchen
Flamingo
Mallard/Stockente
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Evolution of birds: the origin of the lumbosacral specializations
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Resting on one leg
Stehen auf einem Bein
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Synsacrum of
the pigeon
(ventral view)
Synsacrum of
extinct Apsaravis
(ventral view)