The base camp housed the emergency response helicopters for Tucson and neighboring sectors and was manned with a skeletal crew of Guardians and one on-duty pilot, a Natural who'd been trained to fly.
The whole wing is a unique modification, deeply affecting the skeletal, muscular and tegumentary structures, but fluttering, skimming, sailing, soaring are motions much more akin to one another than climbing and grasping, running, scratching, paddling and wading.
A diagnosis covering all the Ratitae (struthio, rhea, casuarius, dromaeus, apteryx and the allied fossils dinornis and aepyornis) would be as follows - (i) terrestrial birds without keel to the sternum, absolutely flightless; (ii) quadrate bone with a single proximal articulating knob; (iii) coracoid and scapula fused together and forming an open angle; (iv) normally without a pygostyle; (v) with an incisura ischiadica; (vi) rhamphotheca compound; (vii) without apteria or bare spaces in the plumage; (viii) with a complete copulatory organ, moved by skeletal muscles.
The dorsal skeletal elements of the thorax and of the anterior six abdominal segments unite with the wing-cases to form a large respiratory chamber, containing five pairs of tracheal gills, with lateral slits for the inflow and a posterior orifice for the outflow of water.
In accordance with this manner of feeding, the mouth is kept permanently open and prevented from collapsing by a pair of skeletal cornua belonging to a sustentacular apparatus (the nuchal skeleton), the body of which lies within the narrow neck of the proboscis; the latter is inserted into the collar and surrounded by the anterior free flap of this segment of the body.