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7 July 2021 Predisposing Anatomical Factors of Humeral Fractures in Birds of Prey: A Preliminary Tomographic Comparative Study
Tiziana Bertuccelli, Lorenzo Crosta, Giovanna Lucrezia Costa, Petra Schnitzer, Shivananden Sawmy, Filippo Spadola
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify possible predisposing anatomical factors associated with humeral fractures in birds of prey through comparison of specific anatomical features in different raptor species. An anatomical study of bone features in birds of prey was performed on 3 male subjects from 5 different species. The selected species included in this investigation were 3 diurnal species (the common buzzard [Buteo buteo], the peregrine falcon [Falco peregrinus], and the European honey-buzzard [Pernis apivorus]) and 2 nocturnal species (the barn owl [Tyto alba] and the tawny owl [Strix aluco]). Humeral bone samples were tomographically analyzed with a micro–macro-focus computed tomographic machine. Specific humeral anatomical points were selected (foramen pneumaticum and tuberculum dorsale for the proximal humerus; corpus humeri for the diaphyseal humerus; and above the condylus dorsalis for the distal humerus) to measure foramen pneumaticum diameter (in millimeters), cortical thickness (in millimeters), and trabeculae number and sizes (in millimeters). Apparent density, measured with the Hounsfield unit, was used to assess the degree of bone resistance. Statistical analysis was performed with a Spearman's correlation, and significance was set at P < .05. The differences among the observed bone volumes were highly significant (P = .00). Trabeculae number and the humeral anatomical point measurements showed differences in all 5 avian species investigated. However, those differences were not significant, except at the condylus dorsalis; in which, a significant interspecies difference (P = .002) was recorded. Trabecular size, cortical thickness, bone density, and diameter of the foramen pneumaticum were all different in all raptor species; however, these variations were not significant. The study confirms the existence of humeral bone volume differences between diurnal and nocturnal species. Furthermore, the data suggest that the humeri of peregrine falcons and European honey-buzzards may be stronger than the humeri of common buzzards, tawny owls, and barn owls.

© 2021 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Tiziana Bertuccelli, Lorenzo Crosta, Giovanna Lucrezia Costa, Petra Schnitzer, Shivananden Sawmy, and Filippo Spadola "Predisposing Anatomical Factors of Humeral Fractures in Birds of Prey: A Preliminary Tomographic Comparative Study," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 35(2), 123-134, (7 July 2021). https://doi.org/10.1647/19-00006
Published: 7 July 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Anatomy
Avian
birds of prey
bone
fracture
raptors
resistance
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