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Journal Articles Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Year : 2020

Mechanics unlocks the morphogenetic puzzle of interlocking bivalved shells

Abstract

A striking feature in bivalved seashells is that the 2 valves fit together perfectly when closed. This trait has evolved in 2 phyla from a common shell-less ancestor and has been described for hundreds of years. While its functional advantage is clear, there is no understanding of how this feature is generated. A mathematical model of the shell growth process explains how geometry and mechanics conspire to generate an interlocking pattern. This model provides a physical explanation for a prominent example of convergent evolution. By showing how variations in the mechanism create a wide variety of morphological trends the model provides insight into how biophysical processes, probably modulated by genetic factors, are manifest across scales to produce a predictable pattern.

Dates and versions

insu-03710136 , version 1 (30-06-2022)

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Derek E. Moulton, Alain Goriely, Régis Chirat. Mechanics unlocks the morphogenetic puzzle of interlocking bivalved shells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2020, 117, pp.43-51. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1916520116⟩. ⟨insu-03710136⟩
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