Research of Ph.D. candidate, Antonio Cordero, highligted in recent Biology Letters

May 13, 2015

Biology Letters

Over the last 210 million years, turtles successfully colonized and adapted to freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments worldwide. This ecological diversification is reflected in the remarkable shell variation of living turtles, suggesting that processes governing the formation of the turtle body plan have evolved. In the most species-comprehensive examination of turtle development, PhD student G. Antonio Cordero showed that the evolution of complex shell forms is underpinned by correlated changes in development of the shoulder blade and shell.  Findings of this study, reported in Biology Letters, suggest that the seemingly static body plan of turtles has great potential to diversify, though by means that we have only begun to discover. 

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