“Does dramatic functional change depend on dramatic morphological change? Kaji et al. used contrast-enhanced micro-CT and confocal imaging, high-speed video, and kinematic experiments with select 3D-printed models, to reconstruct the evolutionary changes in form and function that yielded spectacular snapping claws from simple pinching claws in two shrimp families. They discovered that two novel claw-joint types — a slip joint and a torque-reversal joint — preceded the evolution of snapping. They also found that the evolutionary transitions slip joint ➔ torque-reversal joint ➔ snapping occurred in both shrimp families studied. These results show how subtle changes in joint-form yielded dramatic changes in claw function (e.g., closing speed) during the evolution of snapping claws.”
– Lead author, Tomonari Kaji (@)
See more of Dr. Kaji’s research online and head over to Current Biology to read the pub!