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n. pl. rec·tri·ces (rĕk′trĭ-sēz′, rĕk-trī′sēz)
One of the stiff main feathers of a bird's tail, used to stabilize the bird while in flight and to control its direction.

[Latin rēctrīx, feminine of rēctor, director; see rector.]


n, pl rectrices (ˈrɛktrɪˌsiːz; rɛkˈtraɪsiːz)
(Zoology) any of the large stiff feathers of a bird's tail, used in controlling the direction of flight
[C17: from Late Latin, feminine of rector governor, rector]
rectricial adj


(ˈrɛk trɪks)

n., pl. rec•tri•ces (rɛkˈtraɪ siz, ˈrɛk trəˌsiz)
one of the tail feathers of a bird controlling direction during flight.
[1760–70; < Latin rēctrīx, feminine of rēctor rector; see -trix]
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References in periodicals archive ?
The remainder are secured by two soft tissue assemblages called the rectricial bulbs ([ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2A, B OMITTED]; Baumel 1988).
Several muscular mechanisms have been suggested for the control of rectricial spreading.
It has also been suggested that other muscles, such as the pubocaudalis externus, levator caudae, and depressor caudae, may play a role in assisting the lateralis caudae in rectricial abduction.
Baumel (1988) identified the rectricial bulbs and presented the most detailed model of tail fanning in his extensive treatise on pigeon tail morphology [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2D OMITTED].
On each side of the pygostyle lie the rectricial bulbs, specialized fibroadipose structures that encase the roots of the twelve rectrices (Baumel 1988).
The rectricial bulbs form a specialized mechanism for tail fanning (Baumel 1988; Gatesy and Dial 1993, in press).