Whether salamanders transform into their terrestrial, adult form or retain their aquatic, juvenile form depends on the nature of the streambed where they develop. A study published today in the open access journal BMC Biology reveals that the Oklahoma salamander Eurycea tynerensis metamorphoses into a more terrestrial adult form in streambeds composed of fine, tightly packed gravel but retains its juvenile, or paedomorphic, form in streambeds made of large, loosely packed particles. This study highlights how a simple difference in habitat microstructure can have a major influence on patterns of development, morphology and evolution.
Ronald Bonett and Paul Chippindale from the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas, USA, analysed the type, size and degree of sorting of streambed sediments for 22 populations, 11 paedomorphic and 11 metamorphic, of the plethodontid salamander E. tynerensis living on the Ozark Plateau in south-central North America.
Bonett and Chippindales results show that paedomorphic salamanders prevailed in streambeds made of large well-sorted gravel, whereas metamorphic salamanders were found where streambeds consisted of small, unsorted sediments. The authors found a strong negative correlation between small streambed sediments and paedomorphosis.
Juliette Savin | EurekAlert!
Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
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Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy