: a specialized structure of the upper leading edge of a bird's wing that consists of a tuft of short, stiff flight feathers attached to the movable first wing digit corresponding to the thumb and that facilitates flight, landing, and maneuverability at slow speeds : bastard wing
While easy to overlook, the alula is essential to a modern bird's aerodynamics.—Tom Waters
By altering airflow, the alula permits good maneuverability and control at low flying speeds, crucial for takeoffs and landings.—National Geographic
Examples of alula in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the WebWhile easy to overlook, the alula is essential to a modern bird’s aerodynamics.—Tom Waters, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 This creates a slot between the main wing and the alula.—Tom Waters, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019
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borrowed from New Latin, from Latin āla "wing" + -ula, diminutive suffix — more at ala