How the dragon got its frill - The Movie

June 25th, 2019

The frilled dragon exhibits a distinctive large erectile ruff. This lizard usually keeps the frill folded back against its body but can spread it as a spectacular display to scare off predators. We report now in the journal eLIFE that an ancestral embryonic gill of the dragon embryo turns into a neck pocket that expands and folds, forming the frill. We then suggest that this robust folding pattern emerges from mechanical forces during the homogeneous growth of the frill skin, due to the tensions resulting from its attachment to the neck and head.

For additional informations, please download the original article here:
Elastic instability during branchial ectoderm development causes folding of the Chlamydosaurus erectile frill
Montandon, Fofonjka and Milinkovitch*
eLIFE 2019; 8:e44455 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.44455
*Corresponding author:

See also the Insight Article by Pierre A Haas (University of Cambridge, UK):
Morphogenesis: Mathematical models with frills