How the turtle’s shell developed

by Rebecca on February 24, 2012

in Animals in the News

By Victoria Gill

Science reporter, BBC News

Loggerhead turtle

The turtle’s shell is an “evolutionary novelty”

A Japanese team studied the development of turtle embryos to find out why their ribs grow outward and fuse together to form a tough, external carapace.

Reporting in the journal Science, the researchers compared turtle embryos with those of chicks and mice.

They found that, as turtles developed, part of their body wall folded in on itself forcing the ribs outward.

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