Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today's cool science finding

test tubesTwo things are cool about this story: first, that an animal that we've been familiar with for ages (the moray eel) turns out to have a whole anatomical feature/function we previously knew nothing about, and second, that any creature would have this particular feature -- a second set of jaws that hang out in the throat region until they are needed to leap forward and drag large prey down into the gullet. The abstract for the paper makes it sound like throat-jaws, in and of themselves, are something common in fish, which is also something I never knew, and leads to fascinating ruminations about the evolutionary duplication that could have generated such an arrangement. Spiff!

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