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Rewriting the textbook on backbone evolution

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THE results of a study that ‘fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods’ have recently been published in Nature.

In their paper, a team of scientists, led by Stephanie Pierce from the Royal Veterinary College, describe how they used high-energy synchrotron radiation to produce x-ray images that allowed a three-dimensional representation of the backbone of the earliest four-legged animals to be generated. To generate the images, …

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