Monday, January 10, 2011

Prehistoric Bird Had Wings Like Nunchucks

Two prehistoric birds fight.
The flightless Xenicibis bird used its wings, like two clubs hinged at the wrist joint, to swing at one another, a new study says.

A flightless bird with wings like martial arts weapons once thrashed its foes on what's now Jamaica, a new study says.

Dubbed Xenicibis, the prehistoric bird wielded its unusual wings like nunchucks, or nunchakus, swinging its upper arms so that thick, curved hand bones hinged at the wrist would deliver punishing blows.

The weapon-like wings are so unique that study co-author Nicholas Longrich of Yale University at first assumed the odd limbs were evidence of a deformity.

"There are a lot of birds that do have weaponry," Longrich said. "Tthey just don't have anything like this."

The rest here

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