metacarpus

metacarpus

[met-uh-kahr-puhs]
noun, plural metacarpi [met-uh-kahr-pahy] . Anatomy.
the part of a hand or forelimb, especially of its bony structure, included between the wrist, or carpus, and the fingers, or phalanges.

Origin:
1670–80; < Neo-Latin (see meta-, carpus), replacing metacarpium < Greek metakárpion

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World English Dictionary
metacarpus (ˌmɛtəˈkɑːpəs)
 
n , pl -pi
1.  the skeleton of the hand between the wrist and the fingers, consisting of five long bones
2.  the corresponding bones in other vertebrates

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

metacarpus met·a·car·pus (mět'ə-kär'pəs)
n. pl. met·a·car·pi (-pī)
The part of the hand that includes the five bones between the fingers and the wrist.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

metacarpus

any of several tubular bones between the wrist (carpal) bones and each of the forelimb digits in land vertebrates, corresponding to the metatarsal bones of the foot. Originally numbering five, metacarpals in many mammals have undergone much change and reduction during evolution. The lower leg of the horse, for example, includes only one strengthened metacarpal; the two splint bones behind and above the hoof are reduced metacarpals, and the remaining two original metacarpals have been lost. In humans the five metacarpals are flat at the back of the hand and bowed on the palmar side; they form a longitudinal arch that accommodates the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the palm. The metacarpals also form a transverse arch that allows the fingertips and thumb to be brought together for manipulation.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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