More about turtles

Why Evolution Is True

[JAC: In response to my own and other readers’ questions about turtle morphology and evolution, Greg kindly put up another post to clarify matters.]

by Greg Mayer

To really appreciate what turtles have done with their shells, it helps to see into one. So here’s a view into a turtle’s shell. The shell has been cut parasagitally, to the right of the midline, so we can see the vertebrae, but the rest of the skeleton– head, neck, limbs, girdles, and tail– are left intact so we can see their relation to the shell. (As Turtle Dundee once said, “That’s not an evolutionary novelty– that’san evolutionary novelty.”)

Note that the shoulder and pelvic girdles are both within the dome of the carapace. And in turtles, the shoulder girdle is a bigger affair than it is in mammals. Turtles not only have a scapula, but also a coracoid as…

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About marksolock

I am a lawyer in Chicago with interests in pop culture and current politics.
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