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By Jeanette Wyneken, Matthew H. Godfrey

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In this section, we review and summarize the two basic patterns of bone growth that occur in turtles and correlate these patterns of skeletal morphology with phylogeny as well as the rate of growth to sexual maturity. We intend to concentrate this review primarily on the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), focusing on the morphology and growth of its bones and cartilage. We provide additional detail on its unique vascular cartilage canals that apparently help the leatherback to grow its skeleton rapidly to a large body size.

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Trunk neural crest has skeletogenic potential, Curr. , 12, 767–771, 2003. , Turtle-chicken chimera: An experimental approach to understanding evolutionary innovation in the turtle, Dev. , 232, 149–161, 2005. , The mesenchymal factor, FGF10, initiates and maintains the outgrowth of the chick limb bud through interaction with FGF8, an apical ectodermal factor, Development, 124: 2235–2244, 1997. , On the development and homologies of the carapace and plastron of the chelonian reptiles, Phil. Trans.

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Biology of Turtles by Jeanette Wyneken, Matthew H. Godfrey

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