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mcrepeau's picture

What if...

Continuing on this mode of experimentation what would happen if you ablated the wings entirely, i.e. if you removed the entire AER of the wing bud during embryonic development...would the chick experience the notorious phantom limb syndrome and could one (despite the absence of the wings themselves) still find evidence of an internal CPG, of an internal score for wing movement during the correct developmental phase when the chick would have been learning to fly (in the same way that one can find evidence of the spinneret and swimmer responses in crayfish and leeches that have either never developed the appendage for the corresponding activity or have been isolated from an environment in which the corresponding activity would have been implemented). What of flightless birds? Is there any evidence of vestigial "flight" patterns indicative of an internal genetically directed score in bird species in which evolution has favored the loss of functional wings (how similar are the swimming pattern of penguins for instance to the neurological signals associated with flight?)

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