Document Detail

Regional specialization of reptilian scale surfaces: relation of texture and biologic role.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17738419     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
The iridescent body scales of the fossorial uropeltid snakes produce these interference colors by keratinous ridges spaced at 2500 A. The pattern inhibits wetting of the surface and adhesion of soil particles and thus reduces friction between the snake's trunk and walls of its tunnel. The epidermal scales of the blunt tail show a sharply defined pattern of spines and ridges with convergent flutings. Dirt caught here forms a plug that protects the snake's caudal end. The sharp transition of surface textures suggests (i) that selection for each of the two roles is great, and (ii) that the interference colors of many fossorial snakes indicate that friction as well as dirt adhesion are being reduced.
C Gans; D Baic
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  195     ISSN:  0036-8075     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  1977 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-07     Completed Date:  2010-07-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1348-50     Citation Subset:  -    
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