Monday, November 2, 2015

Body Armor is Not Always for Protection

When we see an animal covered in scales and plates, we assume that it has this armor to protect itself from predators. It seems obvious, which is probably why scientists had not really tested it… until now. And they found that it is not necessarily true.

An armadillo girdled lizard has some impressive body armor, but does it do what we think it does?
Image by Handre Basson at Wikimedia Commons.
Today at Accumulating Glitches, I talk about new research on the functions of plates and scales in cordylid lizards. Check it out here.

And to learn more, check this out:

Broeckhoven, C., Diedericks, G. and le Fras Mouton, P. What doesn’t kill you might make you stronger: functional basis for variation in body armour, Journal of Animal Ecology, 84, 1213–1221 (2015). DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12414.

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