Thursday, July 16, 2009

Herptastic Articles in Science

Science magazine features some interesting herpetological research in its most recent issues. Last week's number had an interesting piece on the evolution and development of the turtle shell (see also the enlightening summaries of this article by Olivier Rieppel and Ed Yong). Although elegant, the results are unlikely to satisfy researchers who favor the account provided in the Little Golden Book. Tomorrow, we get another report on the swimming behavior of lizards in sand (already featured in the NYT). Because the article hasn't yet been posted at Science, it's difficult to tell how it differs from previous work on this subject published by Baumgartner et al. last year in PLoS ONE. In any case, the visuals are more inticing because the current study uses high speed x-ray rather than NMR (the new x-ray video can be viewed along with a press release).

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