Sloths’ mysterious teeth decoded

Like most mammals, we humans have a variety of tooth types for different purposes: incisors, for gripping, canines for ripping and tearing, and molars (also pre-molars) for grinding and chewing. But one group, known as the¬†Xenarthra (a particularly excellent name meaning “strange joints”), have very simple dentition, with similar, unrooted teeth which lack enamel and…

Cartilage and encroaching bone in the developing mouse skeleton

This shot of the dorsal neck of a developing mouse embryo visually shows the process of skeletal growth found in all bony vertebrates. The widespread blue stain (Alcian blue) reveals the extensive cartilaginous blueprint for the growing skeleton, which extends by the division of chondrocytes (cartilage-producing cells) guided by signalling molecules across the embryo. The…