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Scientific article
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Crocodile Head Scales Are Not Developmental Units But Emerge from Physical Cracking

Published inScience, vol. 339, no. 6115, p. 78-81
Publication date2013-01-04
Abstract

How the Crocodile Got Its Scales

Mammalian hairs, avian feathers, and reptile scales differentiate and grow from genetically controlled units. Using three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics and computational biology to study scale generation, Milinkovitch et al. (p. 78 , published online 29 November; see the cover) show that crocodilians' face and jaw scales do not follow this rule but emerge by physical cracking of the developing skin in a tension field. Thus, a crocodile's head scales are not genetically controlled developmental units but are random polygonal domains of keratinized skin that are generated from a self-organizing physical process.

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Citation (ISO format)
MILINKOVITCH, Michel C. et al. Crocodile Head Scales Are Not Developmental Units But Emerge from Physical Cracking. In: Science, 2013, vol. 339, n° 6115, p. 78–81. doi: 10.1126/science.1226265
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ISSN of the journal0036-8075
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