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In Pictures

craniofacial skeleton of a bony fish stained red and blue
Shape and Function: Understanding How Genes Influence Biodiversity

The image above shows the ventral view of the craniofacial skeleton of a fish cichlid (bone stained red, cartilage stained blue). In a new study of how biodiversity arises, UMass Amherst evolutionary biologist Craig Albertson and doctoral student Yinan Hu (organismic and evolutionary biology)—who use the bony fish as their experimental model—have shown how a mutation in a single gene during development can lead to different consequences not only in how an animal’s skull and jaw are shaped, but how this leads to different feeding strategies to exploit different ecological niches. Learn more.

Photo credit: R. Craig Albertson