• WordNet 3.6
    • n furcula a forked bone formed by the fusion of the clavicles of most birds
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Furcula (Anat) A forked process; the wishbone or furculum.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n furcula In ornithology, the united pair of clavicles of a bird, forming a single forked bone, whence the name. The prongs of the furcula commonly meet at an approximately acute angle, like a V, and there develop a process called the hypoclidium; the extremities pass to each shoulder-joint. Sometimes the prongs meet at an open angle, like a U, and they may be ankylosed with the keel of the sternum. The furcula serves to keep the shoulders apart, and is strongest, with most open tines, in birds of the greatest powers of flight. It is occasionally rudimentary or defective, the clavicles being separate and very small, as occurs especially in some flightless birds. The furcula of the common fowl is familiar as the merrythought or wishbone. Also called furculum (with plural fureula).
    • n furcula In entomology, a forked process: specifically applied to a long bifid process on the bodies of certain caterpillars. See furciferous, 1.
    • n furcula In embryology, a forked median protuberance arising in the floor of the embryonic pharynx between the third and fourth pairs of visceral arches. It develops into the epiglottis of the adult.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Furcula the united pair of clavicles of a bird, forming a single forked boneā€”the merry-thought
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., a forked prop, dim. of furca, a fork
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L., from furca, a fork.


In literature:

He allured the Romans into a small plain, at each end of which was a defile (Furculae Caudinae).
"History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD" by Robert F. Pennell
Mucrones: in Collembola the two small end pieces of the furcula, proceeding from the dentes.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I." by Charles Darwin
FURCULA, characters and variations of the, in pigeons, i.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2)" by Charles Darwin