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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 05

The Key to Skeletons

Zeiss Axiozoom V16 Scope; Zen Pro 2012 Software

Daniel Urban

Karen Sears Laboratory

Funded by the NSF

This image was produced as part of a project that focuses on a crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect of the evolutionary transition from reptiles to mammals. Over evolutionary time, bones in the reptilian jaw joint have migrated into the middle ear of mammals and become co-opted for hearing. To examine the development of bone structure, the mouse fetus shown here was treated to make the tissue transparent, and dyed to label the cartilage and bone.