The evolutionary riddle of the turtle shell is one step closer to being solved thanks to groundbreaking research published this week in Science. A team of Japanese scientists has uncovered anatomical clues charting the developmental path by which the turtle acquired its shell.
Turtle morphology poses a unique puzzle in that the turtle's scapulae (shoulder blades), situated outside the ribs in other animals, are found inside its shell (which is formed from the bones equivalent to ribs in other species). To explain this inside-out skeletal morphology, researchers at the Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology compared embryonic development of the turtle to that of chicken and mice. While muscles and skeletons initially developed in a similar way, turtle embryo development diverged at a late stage, with the ventral part of the body wall folding inwards together with the scapula, a step made possible by the anatomical layout of the turtle embryo.
Their findings also indicate a resemblance between the early form of the turtle embryo and that of Odontochelys, a 220 million-year-old fossil species unearthed in China last year, believed to represent the ancestor of all modern turtles. Based on their results, the research group has concluded that modern turtle anatomy results from the late development of ribs in an Odontochelys-like ancestor, unraveling the long-standing mystery of the turtle and its shell.
Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society
New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences