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Skin mechanics and morphology of the gecko Teratoscincus scincus

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The skin of the Central Asian gecko Teratoscincus scincus is extremely fragile, with low tensile strength, stiffness and toughness. As in other geckos exhibiting regional integumentary loss, skin fragility results from the bilayering of the dermis and the intrinsic weakness of its outer layer. Collagen fibers of the outer portions of the dermis are nearly discontinuous in the hinge regions of the large, imbricate, cycloid scales of this species. The ecological significance of these findings is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085, USA; 2: Vertebrate Morphology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr., N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N IN4; 3: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA


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