In focus: On fantails and first pages

This week’s post is from Katrina van Grouw, a scientist, illustrator, author and more. If you would like to write for Anatomy to You, get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. Anyone who’s read On the Origin of Species will know that it begins with—pigeons. Domesticated pigeons. Pages and pages of them. As a teenager I…

In focus: Do slow-moving animals have stiff backs?

This week’s post is from Michael Granatosky, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago in the department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy (Figure 1). If you would like to write for Anatomy to You, get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. Figure 1. Michael Granatosky (left) collecting data in Brazil on the comparative energetic…

In focus: Blind creatures of the deep

This week’s post is from Lauren Sumner-Rooney, a post-doctoral researcher at the Museum für Naturkunde. If you would like to write for Anatomy to You, get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. The featured image shows a specimen of a new species of Zetela (a snail), removed from its shell. Image: Natural History Museum, Specimen: Museum National…

In focus: Investigating the Biomechanics of the Tadpole from Hell

by Eva Herbst, Structure & Motion Lab, The Royal Veterinary College, UK. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please get in touch, such as on Twitter or Facebook. Fig. 1 Reconstruction of Crassigyrinus scoticus (Panchen & Smithson 1990) My name is Eva Herbst and I started my PhD with John Hutchinson and co-supervisor…

In focus: How much do turtles wiggle their hips?

by Christopher Mayerl, Evolutionary Morphology and Biomechanics Laboratory at Clemson University (S. Carolina, USA). If you would like to contribute a guest post, please get in touch, such as on Twitter or Facebook. When you see a turtle, you automatically know it’s a turtle and not something else, probably because of its distinctive shell. However, there’s…

In focus: The big picture of little bones in tuatara

By Sophie Regnault with John Hutchinson and Marc Jones Sesamoid bones are specialised, typically small, bones found in tendons near to joints, with several unusual characteristics. We’ve covered them here before. These sesamoids tend to alter the mechanics of joints, and their development also seems highly influenced by movement. They can vary between individuals or…

In focus: What is the Portuguese Man-O’-War?

Our guest post this week comes from Emei Ma, a scientific artist. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please get in touch on Twitter or Facebook. Occasionally, we come across an image or a video that compels us to ask, “What is that?” Such was the case when I saw the mesmerizing work of Aaron…

In focus: The mysterious extra ‘digits’ of pandas, moles and elephants

The biological ‘five finger rule’ is strikingly consistent throughout living tetrapod vertebrates. Humans and other primates, most carnivorous mammals, crocodiles, lizards and tortoises all typically possess the five digits (fingers and toes) characteristic of tetrapod limbs. It wasn’t always so – the ancient ancestors of the first vertebrates to walk on land, such as Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, had up to…