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re: tiny gekko quiz: results
David Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
<A couple of days ago I challenged all those who thought they could
determine juvenile from adult by sight by posting a line drawing of a
gekko at www.pterosaurinfo.com/gekko.html. I asked if anyone could
identify the size and the ontogenetic age, whether in days or years.
No one even tried.
Case closed. (Really, it was pretty darn near impossible. )>
Eh, a gekko specialist probably could. This is a dinosaur mailing list,
coulda tried that with lizard specialists or herpetology mailing lists.
Case closed because no non-specialist could tell the difference? Naw.
'Sides, more than a few lizard groups have been developmentally recalled
as paedomorphic, while I am not sure wether this occurs in gekkonids.
Recall the paedomorphic mud puppy (*Necturus*), which at adulthood retains
its gills and juvenile breathing apparatus, despite other amphibians
showing development through neoteny.
<BTW the snout vent length of the traced gekko is 11mm. It is a hatchling.
And it was photographed on the tip of someone's finger. Pretty amazing.
It's about as small as amniotes get.>
There's an adult lizard in Cuba called *Sphaerodactylus* that gets about
as small, two can curl on a dime. Hatchlings are far smaller.
My own BTW: while the feline anatomy comparison continues, despite
looking for a new apartment and a computer that hates me, check out:
Andrew Abbie (1947), Headform and human evolution. _Journal of Anatomy_
81: 233-258. In it there is a wonderful figure showing hominoid braincase
transformation both ontogenetically and from monkeys (*Macacus*) to us
(*Homo*). There is a peculiar ontogenetic as well as neotenic change in
calvarium shape, the formation of the chin, dental arcade, and facial
Jaime A. Headden
Little steps are often the hardest to take. We are too used to making leaps
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do. We should all
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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