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The Patek Lab has published a Morphobank database of over 4000 photographs of mantis shrimp appendages and telsons from 89 taxa and 411 specimens. The database is entitled "Comparative morphology of telsons and raptorial appendages in mantis shrimp". This makes a large part of our database of scientific and calibrated images of mantis shrimp freely available. This database accompanies a previous publication by the lab: Claverie & Patek 2013 Evolution.
Dr. Sarah Longo was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Postdoc Award across all of Duke University - and was the first postdoc to receive this award from the Biology department in eight years.
Duke published a writeup about the award which can be viewed here.
Dr. Longo is pictured with lab members, from left, Grace Farley, Justin Jorge, Jacob Harrison, and Jason Dinh.
We published a new paper in eLife that examines the intersection of physics and evolution, specifically in terms of the tempo and mode of evolution.
Muñoz, M. M., Yinan Hu, P. S. L. Anderson, S. N. Patek. 2018. Strong biomechanical relationships guide the tempo and mode of morphological evolution. eLife 7:e37621. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37621.
Muñoz, M. M., Yinan Hu, P. S. L. Anderson, S. N. Patek. 2018. Strong biomechanical relationships guide the tempo and mode of morphological evolution. eLife 7:e37621. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37621
The influence of biomechanics on the tempo and mode of morphological evolution is unresolved, yet is fundamental to organismal diversification. Across multiple four-bar linkage systems in animals, we discovered that rapid morphological evolution (tempo) is associated with mechanical sensitivity (strong correlation between a mechanical system's output and one or more of its components). Mechanical sensitivity is explained by size: the smallest link(s) are disproportionately affected by length changes and most strongly influence mechanical output.
Jason Dinh, Duke undergrad and soon-to-be Ph.D. student in the Patek Lab, received the Rast Award for Comparative Organismal Biology. Congratulations, Jason!
Each year, only one student out of all of the Duke Biology undergrads receives this recognition for excellence in coursework or research in organismal biology .
Crane, R.L., S.M. Cox, S.A. Kisare, and S. N. Patek. 2018. Smashing mantis shrimp strategically impact shells. Journal of Experimental Biology 221, jeb176099. DOI:10.1242/jeb.176099.
Journal of Experimental Biology
The ability to break canonically strong mollusk shells is a key strategy for many predators, often requiring specialized weaponry and behaviors. Current understanding of shell fracture mechanics is primarily based on relatively slow application of forces (high impulse, low peak force), mimicking jaw and claw-based predators, whereas the principles underlying the biomechanics and behavioral strategies of impact fracture (low impulse, high peak force) remain uncertain.
Former Patek Lab manager Rachel Crane (now grad student at Stanford), former grad student Suzanne Cox (now postdoc at Penn State), former Duke undergrad Samantha Kisare (soon-to-be med student at UPenn) and Sheila Patek published a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology about mantis shrimp strategies for breaking snail shells.
Download the paper from JEB.
Science News has published an engaging overview of animal contests, including a feature about Green and Patek's recent paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.