Journal article

A universal power law for modelling the growth and form of teeth, claws, horns, thorns, beaks, and shells

Alistair R Evans, Tahlia I Pollock, Silke GC Cleuren, William MG Parker, Hazel L Richards, Kathleen LS Garland, Erich MG Fitzgerald, Tim E Wilson, David P Hocking, Justin W Adams

BMC BIOLOGY | BMC | Published : 2021


BACKGROUND: A major goal of evolutionary developmental biology is to discover general models and mechanisms that create the phenotypes of organisms. However, universal models of such fundamental growth and form are rare, presumably due to the limited number of physical laws and biological processes that influence growth. One such model is the logarithmic spiral, which has been purported to explain the growth of biological structures such as teeth, claws, horns, and beaks. However, the logarithmic spiral only describes the path of the structure through space, and cannot generate these shapes. RESULTS: Here we show a new universal model based on a power law between the radius of the structure ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

A.R.E. was supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT130100968), Linkage Project (LP150100403) and Discovery Project (DP180101797), and Monash University Science and Interfaculty Seed grants. Support was given by Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships (W.M.G.P., T.I.P., H.L.R. and K.L.S.G.), Monash Graduate Scholarship and Monash International Tuition Scholarship (S.G.C.C.), Monash Graduate Excellence Scholarship (T.I.P. and K.L.S.G.), Robert Blackwood Partnership PhD Top-Up Scholarships (W.M.G.P., H.L.R. and K.L.S.G.), and Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowments (S.G.C.C. and T.I.P.).