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!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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