Pember’s Wishes

On this day of April 1st in 1890 Franklin Pember collected the wishbone of a Ferruginous Hawk in Riverside, California. He attached a handwritten tag describing his find and on the back wrote “collected by F.T. Pember.” He collected a specimen just a few days earlier on March 27 and perhaps this is from where came the wishbone. Additionally, we found in our collection six other wishbones and one mysterious bone. None of them were tagged like the hawk. Side photos are available upon request. If you know which birds belong to these bones or even our mysterious bone, please contact the museum educator.

Per Wikipedia – The furcula (“little fork” in Latin) or wishbone is a forked bone found in birds and some dinosaurs, and is formed by the fusion of the two clavicles. In birds, its primary function is in the strengthening of the thoracic skeleton to withstand the rigors of flight. (See diagram)

Ever wonder where the breaking of the wishbone comes from? Matthias Caryofilles researched and wrote an article for the Pember. (Added here as photos)

It’s 1890, what would be Pember’s wish as he broke a wishbone with Ellen Pember?

We would love to hear your thoughts.

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