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Questions tagged [morphology]

The study of the gross structure of biological entities, including organisms, tissues and cells.

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How can I model what average morphology will evolve towards for a specific targeted trait in mind?

I am interested in being able to project physical characteristics to predict them in the future. For the sake of simplicity in isolating parameters, assume current environmental conditions. Now take ...
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What are the proportions of average human arms, legs and torso to each other that the population tends towards?

Normally when I draw or model something, I have a reference image. However, I want to draft a human-like creature for which there is no reference image, so I have to build it from scratch. For some ...
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Hypanthial disc

Can anyone illustrate what the hypanthial disc is? It is descriped throughout the key to Rosa in the Flora of North America. I think that I understand that the hypanthium is the hip which is formed ...
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Difference between morphogens and evocators in development?

I am specifically interested in this within the context of 1950's developmental biology (I presume the meaning and scope of usage of the terms has changed since then), as I am reading Alan Turing's ...
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differences between Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans

I want to know what are some of the major morphological difference between the fungi Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. If you can provide a suitable paper for it would be helpful. Thankyou....
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How does an animal having toes create more friction than not?

I was looking at the morphology of different animals when I found that apparently part of the reason vertebrate mammals have toes is that they grip the ground. But, why is that better than having a ...
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Twins reproducing with each other ( just hypothetical)

If 2 twins (look exactly the same and also the genes which control their morphology, behaviour etc. are same and present at the same locus) produce an offspring , will their offspring be exact copy of ...
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What is a 1-flowered raceme?

PlantNET describes the inflorescences of Daviesia acicularis as: Racemes reduced to 1 flower How is a 1-flowered raceme different from a single flower?
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What's the difference between a simple and 1-foliolate (unifoliolate) leaf?

How is a 1-foliolate leaf (e.g., Hardenbergia) different from a simple leaf?
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Why are there exactly 207 morpho-electrical types of neurons?

I'm taking an introductory neuroscience course online, and it mentions that of the 55 morphological types and the 11 electrical types, there are 207 morpho-electrical types. How does this work? 55 ...
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Are centrioles really absent in human neurons?

A booklet (issued by my school) claims, Centrioles, formerly believed to be absent in neurons, have been described in neurons and may be associated with the production and maintenance of neuro(...
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What kind of tree is this — why do its huge leaves change shape and “grow fingers”?

Edit 2: Confirmation that it's one tree! Surrounding trees on either side along the sidewalk are completely different, and the ones on the other side of the fence are short and have rounded but far ...
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How different are these terms: Phylloclade, Phyllode, Cladophyll and Cladode?

We started with Plant Morphology in class (specifically, the morphology of angiosperms). My teacher's provided us with the following terms and their definitions. Phylloclade A modified ...
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Popular science on carcinisation

Carcinisation is described succinctly in a Wikipedia entry. The entry references few scientific publications regarding the subject. But are there any popular scientific articles describing and giving ...
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What is bilateral symmetry in “bilateria”, an actual symmentry

Wikipedia defines bilateria as : animals with bilateral symmetry, i.e., they have a head ("anterior") and a tail ("posterior") as well as a back ("dorsal") and ...
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How to incorporate size data with shape in stereographic morphometrics?

This may be an extremely simple point that I am missing, but how are you supposed to know the exact size of a structure being analyzed in three dimensions? When doing two dimensional morphometrics, ...
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Why do certain ferns have roughened spore surface?

Ferns such as Anemia phyllitidis, Blotiella lindeniana, Ctenitis hirta, Cystopterix fragilis, Hemionitis palmata and many others have roughened splity spore surface. I ask, why is it evolutionary so?...
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Flowers in Arachis hypogea, are they clestogamous or chasmogamous?

I have seen the flowers of groundnut, they open and remains open for one day, so they should be chasmogamous, but in my school book, they mentioned it as clestogamous, and I searched for it in ...
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Can Eskimos be regarded a distinct species from Kalahari Bushmen based on morphological differences & geographic isolation?

I was motivated to ask based on the answer to another SE Biology Question that uses the following argument to conclude that two varients of snake are indeed a different species: To test whether [...
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Why is the internal capsule dark in this transverse section of the brain?

Why is the internal capsule dark in this transverse/horizontal section of the brain? If it is white matter, then why isn't it white? P. S. : Formalin was used for fixation. Why the same color was ...
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198 views

What Makes an Afrothere an Afrothere?

The mole-like golden moles. The hedgehog-like tenrecs. The shrew-like sengis. The rodent-like hyraxes. The anteater-like aardvarks. The whale-seal-hybrid-like sirens. The tapir-like ...
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Why are the walls of the bronchioles folded?

The bronchiole shown in the section above has folded epithelium, why is this so?
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What's the difference between morphospace expansion and packing?

I'm reading an article that talks about morphospace and niche expansion or packing. Differences in slope above and below zero indicate dominance of morphospace expansion versus morphospace ...
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What is the purpose of the brown louver-like structure on the underside of a mushroom?

On the underside of the cap of a mushroom is a structure with many brown leaves closely spaced together like slats or a louver. What is the purpose of this structure?
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Why is the “worm” body shape so prevalent in Eumetazoa?

What is the selection advantage, of this incredibly common body form? (long, cylindrical tube-like body with no limbs) Is it just the body plan of the ancestral bilaterian and therefore remained ...
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How does DNA organise a cell's physical position within a body?

How do cells "know" where they are supposed to be in relation to other cells, in forming the physical shape of the body? If you have ever tried to organise or choreograph the physical positions of a ...
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The Perplexing Trilobite: What is the Evidence Supporting The Hypothesis That They are Not Crustaceans?

In the field of paleontology, one question that's really bugged me (er, no pun intended) of late is why the subphylum/class Trilobitomorpha/Trilobita is off on its own branch of the Arthropoda phylum, ...
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Spatial dimensions for an animal

I'm reading a review paper. They say: The position of an object in head-centered coordinates (that is, relative to an animal's head) can be defined along three axes: the medio-lateral (radial) axis,...
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The alignment of fingers in our hand

I noticed that in my hand the index and middle finger are aligned in one direction and the next two fingers somewhat in the opposite direction. My question is, why are our fingers aligned in that way? ...
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Can an organism exist as a single cell but come together as multi-cellular during certain times?

I am trying to remember a particular segment from a BBC special, in which there was single cellular species. However, at certain times all the individual cells came together to form a structure, not ...
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Measuring body size in flies/insects

"Mesothorax length (the distance from the tip of the scutellum to the most anterior part of the mesothorax)" From Bergland et al 2008. Would that be this distance (green line)? If not, how would ...
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What is 'refractile' cell morphology?

I can't find a definition for 'refractile' (not 'refractory', and not explicitly in an optical context). As in: A tumour cell phenotype features increased proliferation, anchorage- and growth ...
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Phylogenetic method to detect shift in mean of continuous variable

I am currently working on a project where I study the change of a continuous morphological variable with body size (measured as body weight) across diverse taxa (insects, spiders, lizards, frogs). In ...
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How to determine externally that a whale is a mammal?

Mammals have external qualifying characteristics like body hair, ear pinna, etc. But a whale has none of that. So, can it be identified as a mammal just by external observations?
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Why do rabbits often have white hindquarters?

There are several species of herbivores that have a very visible white hindquarters: several kinds of deer, rabbits, antelopes, etc. Does the white fur serve a functional purpose, or is it purely ...
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List of Asymmetric Animals

The (male) Fiddler Crab is a famous example of an animal whose morphology exhibits neither mirror nor radial symmetry: (Image source) List of animals featuring external asymmetry is a Wikipedia ...
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Are there special constants in biology that define organism's morphology?

In math, there are special numbers, like Pi (3.14159...) and e (2.71828...). In chemistry, there's numbers like avogadro's number (6.0221413e+23). For example a circle can be defined in terms of 2 * ...
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Do animals exist with an uneven total number of digits?

I recently finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan. In the book they talk about a pattern in the transcendental number like pi or e, and comment that it is found in base 10 or however many fingers the ...
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Can any species be bred selectively/engineered to become as diverse looking as dogs?

I've done some research and it appears that dogs are the most diverse looking single species of mammals. The questions that interest me is - are dogs special in respect to genes/gene activation ...