If you are remotely interested in archosaurian breathing, you need to read this right now

April 3, 2013

Schachner et al 2013 fig-13-full

Schachner et al. (2013: Figure 13): Diagrammatic representations of the crocodilian (A) and avian (B) lungs in left lateral view with colors identifying proposed homologous characters within the bronchial tree and air sac system of both groups. The image of the bird is modified from Duncker (1971). Abbreviations: AAS, abdominal air sac; CAS, cervical air sac; CRTS, cranial thoracic air sac; CSS, caudal sac-like structure; CTS, caudal thoracic air sac; d, dorsobronchi; GL, gas-exchanging lung; HS, horizontal septum; IAS, interclavicular air sac; L, laterobronchi; NGL, non-gas-exchanging lung; ObS, oblique septum; P, parabronchi; Pb, primary bronchus; Tr, trachea; v, ventrobronchi.

Gah! No time, no time. I am overdue on some things, so this is a short pointer post, not the thorough breakdown this paper deserves. The short, short version: Schachner et al. (2013) is out in PeerJ, describing airflow in the lungs of Nile crocs, and showing how surprisingly birdlike croc lungs actually are. If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the papers by Colleen Farmer and Kent Sanders a couple of years ago describing unidirectional airflow in alligator lungs. Hang on to your hat, because this new work is even more surprising.

I care about this not only because dinosaurian respiration is near and dear to my heart but also because I was a reviewer on this paper, and I am extremely happy to say that Schachner et al. elected to publish the review history alongside the finished paper. I am also pleasantly surprised, because as you’ll see when you read the reviews and responses, the process was a little…tense. But it all worked out well in the end, with a beautiful, solid paper by Schachner et al., and a totally transparent review process available for the world to see. Kudos to Emma, John, and Colleen on a fantastic, important paper, and for opting for maximal transparency in publishing!

UPDATE the next morning: Today’s PeerJ Blog post is an interview with lead author Emma Schachner, where it emerges that open review was one of the major selling points of PeerJ for her:

Once I was made aware of the transparent peer review process, along with the fact that the journal is both open access and very inexpensive to publish in, I was completely sold. [...] The review process was fantastic. It was transparent and fast. The open review system allowed for direct communication between the authors and reviewers, generating a more refined final manuscript. I think that having open reviews is a great first step towards fixing the peer review system.

That post also links to this one, so now the link cycle is complete.

Reference

Schachner, E.R., Hutchinson, J.R., and Farmer, C.G. 2013. Pulmonary anatomy in the Nile crocodile and the evolution of unidirectional airflow in Archosauria. PeerJ 1:e60 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.60

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28 Responses to “If you are remotely interested in archosaurian breathing, you need to read this right now”

  1. Casey Says:

    Ok Matt..this is the one blog I feel comfortable commenting on largely because I hope that regardless of the awful things I write, we’ll still remain friends and colleagues. I also think this is always at the forefront of professional trends (e.g. Open Source, blogging) so I like to sort these things out here. I like this paper, I have really, really enjoyed watching the growth of our knowledge of reptile pulmonary function and evolution for the last 13 years, so my comments have nothing to do with the paper itself… End prologue.

    “I was a reviewer on this paper, and I am extremely happy to say that Schachner et al. elected to publish the review history alongside the finished paper.”

    Does this mark the point where one hypes their own work as a reviewer of someone else’s work? I’m probably guilty of advertising papers that I reviewed (ahem favorably), and certainly its a natural association-you get sent papers up your alley and find those papers appealing, and hype them.

    Is this a means to advertise one’s services to secure pay-for-review gigs? Not a bad idea given this economy…

    I understand we do this largely pro bono (my chair doesn’t even really care how many papers I review, at all)-it is only appreciated by other authors, albeit begrudgingly; I understand the time it takes to write a good review; I understand there are some egregious examples of peer reviewing that should be brought to light; and people choose to be anonymous or not for various reasons, although they should pick one and stick with it.

    I really appreciate being able to see the evolution of a paper while in the pipeline but am still not comfortable with actually seeing it if I didn’t have an actual role in it. Which is why its seems disconcerting.

    Do I need to cite this paper because of ideas passed along within the reviews? Do the intellectual rights belong to the paper authors or to you, Pat, or Andy? Can I write a review of pulmonary evolution in part based on this conversation that is now open access? I suppose if it feels “wrong” maybe it is? But what is the precedent? Did we really need to see the cute little correspondence about having toddlers? I have had these too, but puulease.

    Do all the reviewers also have to allow their reviews to be made public. I suppose this is part of the PeerJ mechanics, I joined too, so I reckon I should read more thoroughly.

    [Whoops, just noticed that we bypassed this and never came back to it. As PeerJ is currently set up, reviewers only get to decide whether to sign their reviews, not whether the reviews are made public, and authors only get to decide whether the reviews are published, and not whether they are signed. So any review might get published, but it might not, and as a reviewer you don't know which it will be when you sign (or don't). From https://peerj.com/about/policies-and-procedures/#open-peer-review. -- Matt]

    Hmmm, lots to chew on.

    PS. get back to work, both of us :D

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    “Is this a means to advertise one’s services to secure pay-for-review gigs?”

    Are there such things? I have certainly never seen one. I don’t want to see one, either. Whatever value and objectivity peer-review has at all is surely tied up in its pro-bono nature.

    There’s no need to see sinister motives in Matt’s publicising the availability of the review history. It’s an interesting history, and we’re interested in interesting things, and expect our readers to be interested in them, too. That’s all.

    (I imagine that seeing this kind of history is particularly helpful for new authors and reviewers who have not yet been part of the process and can benefit from seeing how it works. Obviously that part of the appeal is of no relevance in yours case, but don’t underestimate its value for others.)

  3. Casey Says:

    Reviewing textbooks is a paid gig. So if you can provide an example of your prowess via journal reviews…that may help secure those types of side jobs.

    I’m not looking for or accusing anyone of sinister behavior. I’m just trying to parse out the phenomenon.

  4. Matt Wedel Says:

    Casey, those are all solid questions. I don’t know the answer to them, and I doubt if anyone does, yet. I think we as a community are in the process of finding out, by doing.

    For my part, I felt that as a reviewer I had much more to lose than to gain by having the peer reviews published. Because let’s face it, it inevitably puts you into a critical stance that can too easily slip into being adversarial, and it’s really hard to strike a balance between writing a review that you think gets the job done without coming off like an ass. Or at least I find that balance tricky–since the reviews are published, others can decide whether I achieved it at all. And I don’t want to get a reputation for being either a cakewalk reviewer or an a-hole. So it’s no exaggeration to say that I put about as much thought into those reviews as I would have into a paper of similar length, at least in terms of fact-checking and word-smithing (is there anything left after those, actually?). In terms of mental energy, they were by far the most demanding reviews I’ve done, precisely because I knew they might get published.

    SO, if signing reviews and having them published is so risky, at least as perceived by the reviewer, why did I do it? For the same reason I requested both Wakes (David and Marvalee) to serve on my dissertation committee at Berkeley: I knew it would frighten me into doing a more careful, conscientious job. And because I think it’s good for science.

    And, yeah, in this post I am probably pimping myself a bit. Because I did put a lot of work into those reviews and I’m damned happy that that effort is now visible to everyone else. I’m tired of having my hard work as a reviewer effectively disappear. AND I think this is a great example of how a somewhat rocky review process led to a positive outcome that I think everyone is happy with (I know Emma and I are happy, anyway). I hope open review gets to be the default for all science communication, as quickly as possible. The only thing I’d change about the process as it is embodied at PeerJ is to add DOIs to each of the review documents, so they’d be more easily citeable. Citing someone else’s review? Why not? If it’s scientific communication and it’s published…

    YMMV.


  5. I feel that publishing reviews and replies to them, all the mentioned things aside, is the only step that will end the eternal games of some of our colleagues who intentionally or out of sheer laziness write bad reviews. It stops hostile reviews, it stops authors ignoring reviews, it forces editors to do their fuckin’ jobs.
    That simply outweighs all the problems I and other see, in my opinion.

    So, Casey: you raised quite a few important points, and especially the issue of content – citeable or not? – is a biggie. We as a community need to figure this out, and quickly!

  6. Mike Taylor Says:

    “Reviewing textbooks is a paid gig. So if you can provide an example of your prowess via journal reviews…that may help secure those types of side jobs.”

    Oh, OK — didn’t know that.

    I guess I am pretty much OK with textbook reviewers being chosen on the basis of how well they have demonstrated they can review.

  7. Casey Says:

    Matt: “Because I did put a lot of work into those reviews and I’m damned happy that that effort is now visible to everyone else. I’m tired of having my hard work as a reviewer effectively disappear. ”

    Most excellent point. Count up the hours we put towards these endeavors, but no where to put it on our annual evaluations.

    Mike: “I imagine that seeing this kind of history is particularly helpful for new authors and reviewers who have not yet been part of the process and can benefit from seeing how it works. Obviously that part of the appeal is of no relevance in yours case, but don’t underestimate its value for others.”

    Its still relevant to me because I have not been privy to reviews independent of those I am affiliated with (my papers and their reviews, or the reviews I write), so I consider seeing these to fall along the lines of professional development. I’m certainly curious to see what a review from Wedel or O’Connor may look like, assuming I haven’t seen them in a more direct fashion. I think it could be a good thing.

    Indeed, many students sadly aren’t exposed to the review process outside of dissertation chapters until they’re hit with their 1st, potentially soul-crushing revisions. We try to share some papers with our students so they can learn the reviewing process-it may breach the lines of confidentiality a little bit-but its the only way to get some training in how to write papers, how to evaluate them, and how to write a fair and balanced review.

    I like that we don’t have good answers to this yet. I find it fascinating.

  8. Mike Taylor Says:

    “I like that we don’t have good answers to this yet. I find it fascinating.”

    :-)

    Today in a blog entry by William Gunn, I saw peer-reviews described as “the dark matter of scholarly output. Seems to capture it perfectly.

  9. Matt Wedel Says:

    I’m certainly curious to see what a review from Wedel or O’Connor may look like, assuming I haven’t seen them in a more direct fashion. I think it could be a good thing.

    Solid point! I’ve been telling people for years that Jerry Harris gives the most thorough reviews I’ve ever received. Hopefully soon I’ll just be able to show people, because his reviews will be published.

    We try to share some papers with our students so they can learn the reviewing process-it may breach the lines of confidentiality a little bit-but its the only way to get some training in how to write papers, how to evaluate them, and how to write a fair and balanced review.

    Kevin did the same for me. I think it’s pretty common, and harmless. But also less necessary now, since we have loads of published peer reviews we can point students at.

    I think published reviews would be awesome fodder for a journal club. To be able to discuss a paper and then go through the reviews has got to be gold.

    I like that we don’t have good answers to this yet. I find it fascinating.

    Strong agreement here!


  10. I received a very nasty and hostile review early on in my career, and the editor was incapable of dealing with them. If I was less of an arrogant and bull-headed person I might have given up on publishing, and as a result on doing science. If, however, the reviewer and editor had known that the entire community would get access I bet the review would have been much fairer, or at least the editor wouldn’t have weaseled out of his responsibility.
    Yep, open reviews sounds good to me!
    ;)

  11. Matt Wedel Says:

    It’s a good thing you’re such a stubborn ass. :-)

    It’s a good point, though: I wonder if by tolerating a-hole reviewers for so long, science has filled up with the arrogant and bull-headed by a process of selection. (Said the arrogant, bull-headed blogger.) Will open review foster a kinder, gentler scientific community?

    Actually I care less about that than about the ability to find and make fun of the lazy and mean-spirited.


  12. well, you have a point there: science is not for those who pout and whine when their splendid genius ideas turn out to be BS. However, as things are, with reviews (including grant proposal reviews, where 95% of the abuse is happening) being secret, the ability to suffer criticism isn’t as relevant as it should be, but rather bone-headed persistence is being selected for. Again and again and again – and you will get a paper published. It is only a matter of trying enough times and you will hit lazy and/or incompetent reviewers and editors.

    At the same time, the process selects for unfairness and mean-spirited competition, too. I know a few examples, sadly :(

  13. Mike Taylor Says:

    As I read Heinrich’s story, I kept thinking “That’s me!” I too received a mean-spirited review to my very first submission, could have been knocked back on my heels, but came back only because I am fundamentally a very arrogant and bull-headed person. It’s all too easy to imagine someone less self-confident just thinking, well, forget it, I don’t need this.

    Current peer-review culture, with its protection of anonymity for those in power, cannot possibly fail to perpetuate a culture where arrogance is rewarded and humility penalised. We have to change this.

    In peer-review, it’s the reviewers who are in the position of power and the poor author who is at their mercy. Can there be any other similar power-structure in which it’s the powerful rather than the vulnerable who get the protection of anonymity?

  14. Casey Says:

    I’m not sure I totally agree with this assessment of power and arrogance. Its the editors job to help shepherd papers through the process and to weigh the different opinions brought forth through peer review. There are good and bad editors. There are good and bad reviewers. There are certainly good and bad papers, and good and bad science, sometimes the latter is in the clothing of a good paper. None of these are mutually exclusive.

    I am always anonymous. I like it that way, since then I don’t have to suffer retaliation and guff from the authors directly, or indirectly through their reviews of my work (or grants). I don’t consider it arrogant at all and am actually more in favor of a double blind review process rather than a no-blind review process (for now). I even sometimes scrub my normal language from reviews, or mimic other people’s language to throw them off the scent (its quite fun, like to place some Queen’s English in there, or to try to write like my advisor might, hee hee). I find it challenging to objectively review papers from people I know, whether I “like” them or not, or maybe they’ve written good papers before, but this one is a dog. So even though its a small world, and I can likely guess who is writing which paper, having those names there does affect the reviewer IMO. Once a paper makes it out, I sometimes come forward to the authors (often, it isn’t a big surprise), but I suppose, I’m actually trying to avoid confrontation, which I consider humility, or deference, not arrogance?

    Here’s the rub: There are a growing number of instances where, after spending time writing a good, balanced review, that happens to not favor the publication of the paper, the authors quickly find another place to publish it, problems and all, maybe taking into account the review (my product, in the context of this post) …

    …So…should my initial review accompany said manuscript? Should manuscripts have an explicit DOI-type ID so journals can track these papers and their reviews? Obviously, tumbling down the ladder from high impact journals to lower ones is a parallel issue. But, going along with this “non-anonymous, open access, review-is-my-product” theme, do we, as reviewers, have rights to our intellectual property (and time on task) that should accompany the evolution, or de-evolution of proto-publications?

  15. Matt Wedel Says:

    I’m not sure I totally agree with this assessment of power and arrogance. Its the editors job to help shepherd papers through the process and to weigh the different opinions brought forth through peer review. There are good and bad editors. There are good and bad reviewers. There are certainly good and bad papers, and good and bad science, sometimes the latter is in the clothing of a good paper. None of these are mutually exclusive.

    Agreed. The contention is not that anonymity = arrogance, but rather that arrogant, lazy, or bitter reviewers–who are probably a small minority–can shelter behind anonymity.

    …So…should my initial review accompany said manuscript? Should manuscripts have an explicit DOI-type ID so journals can track these papers and their reviews?

    Good questions. Again, I don’t think anyone has the answers yet.

    I don’t think a DOI-type thing for manuscripts will work because I can’t think of any way to prevent someone from just making a new version of the manuscript and getting a new number assigned. Plus we’re talking about a system that would have to work across all journals if it was going to work at all, and I don’t think that kind of coordination will ever be possible. Scientific publishing is getting more fluid, less centralized, and harder to anticipate, and any universal coordination scheme is probably impossible now and getting more impossible by the day.

    IF we get into a situation–and we’re clearly not there yet–wherein open review gets to be the expected norm, reviewers who are used to having their reviews published alongside papers will get pissed when those papers are rejected or withdrawn, and all their reviewing work goes down the drain. So maybe there will be pressure on journals not to reject. Maybe it’s better to publish the crappy paper, alongside the blistering reviews, with a note from the editor saying that the paper does not have the approval of the reviewers or the journal. So the paper would be published in the sense of being widely available, but not in the sense of having received the imprimatur of a journal.

    I dunno, maybe that will never come to pass. It would require massive shifts in both what the community values and what concessions reviewers are able to get from journals.

    But if it did come to pass, I think it would be good for science. Just as people writing open reviews may do a better job just because the review will be published, authors may hesitate to clog the system with BS papers (BANDits, Hoser taxonomists, etc.) if they know that said papers will be made public but not endorsed by the outlet.*

    * You know how we have the terms gratis and libre to differentiate free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech? We need similar terms to differentiate published-as-in-made-public and published-as-in-endorsed-by-an-authority. We didn’t need separate terms when publishing was a job. Now that it’s a button, we do.


  16. Thanks, Matt, for the kind comments and constructive review. I too have had too little time to blog about the paper (am on holiday in Rome), but intend to when I can. Full credit goes to Emma and Colleen for the quality of the paper; I just helped a little. Open review was on our minds throughout the process (disclosure: I’m a PeerJ assoc editor). It’s nice to show how the sausage is made, and reviewers have the “out” options to (1) not review because they don’t want to risk open review, or (2) just stay anonymous.

    I agree with Casey that reviewing anonymously has honest benefits that tend to be dismissed- the risk of retribution from authors on future grants/papers/etc becomes all too real over time; people are human and have all the attendant flaws. However I prefer non-anonymity when I review, much of the time.

    A first point in the paper that hopefully is not lost on readers is that pneumaticity might have little/nothing to do with ventilation/respiration, and that air sacs (based on prior experimental data w/birds, which has been overlooked by most authors who study respiratory anatomy, seeming to assume instead that form can be inferred from function) play no particularly important role in driving unidirectional airflow. The review process also touched, at least subtly (it’s not a point of the paper, but like the first point above explains some of the tension in the review process), on the second, more controversial notion (explained in detail by Farmer’s 2006 review cited therein, which I strongly encourage people to find and read!) that perhaps pneumaticity has nothing to do with air sac anatomy itself (heresy to palaeontologists?). (wow that was a lot of parenthetical phrases inside 1 sentence!) I was a noob about these two notions during the writing/reviewing of the paper but became more convinced by the first one, and the second one surprised me and I am not yet sure what I think of it. Anyway it has been a fun experience, and I learned a ton working with Emma and Colleen.


  17. Casey, if all reviewers were like you double-blind would be fine. Or, if all editors were like you – then it wouldn’t matter if a reviewer was mean, because the editor would recognize a hostile review and toss it out.

    That said, double-blind reviews are a joke in palaeo. I have never written or reviewed a paper where the author was not blatantly obvious from the title, or at least abstract.

  18. Mike Taylor Says:

    Casey, on re-reading what I wrote, it does look rather as though I’m saying all reviewers are power-crazed, self-interested psychopaths. Of course, that’s not what I meant to imply at all: not all, not most, not even very many. But the fact remains that there are bad actors out there, and the current system of reviewer anonymity together with the whole culture of secrecy that has grown up around peer-review means that they are protected from the consequences of their asshattery.

    It’s not just anonymity that’s the problem, either: for example, one of my papers had a completely fatuous hostile review which was signed — happily, the editor had the balls to ignore it — but this secrecy culture means I’ve never been able to out the perpetrator publicly (and hardly anyone knows about it privately).

    What I’m saying is that when we have (A) a system that is designed to shield reviewers from consequences and (B) humans doing the reviewing, it is inevitable that we will get bad actors who abuse the system and hide behind those protective walls. My judgement (and others might legitimately disagree) is that tearing those walls down will yield benefits for all decent participants, including early-career researchers, much greater than the problems it causes.

    On double-blind peer-review: as others have pointed out, it’s not really very practical in palaeontology. My last three published papers were entitled “The long necks of sauropods did not evolve primarily through sexual selection”, “Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks” and “Neural spine bifurcation in sauropod dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation: ontogenetic and phylogenetic implications”. Among the people qualified to review these papers (i.e. those who know anything about sauropods) could anyone fail to guess that I was involved in these projects from their titles alone?

    In bigger fields, double-blind might work. I think either full open or double-blind would be improvements on the current system, which inexplicably gives all the protection to the party with most to gain from abusing it.

  19. Andy Farke Says:

    * You know how we have the terms gratis and libre to differentiate free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech? We need similar terms to differentiate published-as-in-made-public and published-as-in-endorsed-by-an-authority. We didn’t need separate terms when publishing was a job. Now that it’s a button, we do.

    Can’t we just label it “independently peer reviewed” or “not peer reviewed”? Or “externally edited” or “not externally edited”? Or whatever term of choice…PeerJ (I’m an editorial board member) has a prominent “PREPRINT – PeerJ PrePrints are not peer-reviewed” at the top of its preprints, and this seems to suffice just fine.

  20. Matt Wedel Says:

    Andy, that will work for all of our current publication modes, but right now we basically just have two: preprints that no-one has made a decision on, and papers that have been both reviewed and approved. I’m talking about a hypothetical third mode where the manuscript has been reviewed and made public but not approved by the journal. Maybe it’s a simple as you say, and we can just use headers that explicitly state the status of each document. But it would still be nice to have terms that separate the making-public and imprimatur-granting functions of publication.

    Right now PeerJ, and I assume most other open-review outfits, only publish the reviews once the paper itself is published. It would be nice to have the reviews published as they come in, before any editorial decision has been made. That would solve the problem I brought up in the previous comment, where reviewers lose their work if the manuscript gets rejected or withdrawn. And it would make it harder for authors to withdraw bad manuscripts and submit them elsewhere instead of simply dealing with the reviews. Not impossible, because authors will probably always be able to find someone sufficiently out-of-the-loop to foist their manuscripts on. But if preprints were treated more like publications–indexed in Google Scholar and other trackers, for example (and maybe they are?)–it would be easier to see which things had been submitted before, and if the reviews were open and already published, to see how they had fared.


  21. @Matt – F1000 Research publishes the reviews as they come in.

    @All – we are pleased you are enjoying our Open Peer Reviews. We believe this facility (which we certainly didn’t pioneer) has great potential to improve the peer review process

    There is an interview with Emma Schachner regarding her experience of the Open Peer Review process for this article at: http://blog.peerj.com/post/47107419247/author-interview-schachner

    Finally, we just launched PeerJ PrePrints (https://PeerJ.com/preprints ) – this is another extension to an author’s ability to experience ‘review in the open’

  22. Vertebrat Says:

    Oooooh. Sac-like posterior bronchi in a less-vascularized posterior lung are just the sort of thing vestigial air sacs would look like. It’s as if crocodilians were as secondarily bradymetabolic as they are secondarily aquatic…

    We need similar terms to differentiate published-as-in-made-public and published-as-in-endorsed-by-an-authority.

    This would also be useful when the official publication date does not match the actual date of availability (e.g. because one is print and the other electronic).

    Released, public, publicated, available, accessible, out? vs. endorsed, approved, stamped, officialized? (Not “reviewed” or “filtered” because those also refer to concepts that are confused with official publication.)

    It would be rhetorically useful, but contentious, to reclaim “published” for “made public”, and use some other word for “endorsed”. Also to distinguish publicly available (i.e. open-access) material from paywalled pseudo-publication.

    F1000 Research publishes the reviews as they come in.

    It’s cool to see the new journals competing not just on speed and transparency, but on the speed of their transparency. :)

    I’m a little disappointed the author interview was only about the journal, not about the research. “What were the hardest parts?” would be a good standard question. Also, 0.5 kg is a little tiny baby croc with little tiny baby lungs. Were those difficult to work with? Also also, do the parabronchi from D3-D6 connect to other dorsobronchi or directly to D1 or not exist or what? Are there any from the M bronchi?


  23. >We need similar terms to differentiate published-as-in-made-public and published-as-in-endorsed-by-an-authority.

    Believe it or not, such definitions and standards do exist: http://www.crossref.org/crossmark/

  24. Matt Wedel Says:

    Thanks for all the info, Pete!

    Vertebrat, I agree with all of that. Including wanting to know more about how croc lungs change over ontogeny. This paper by Schachner et al. is good stuff but it raises so many interesting questions that it basically opens a new field. Exciting times!


  25. [...] of our recent PeerJ paper on croc lungs (Schachner, Hutchinson and Farmer; see here and also here), a rant on optimality in biomechanics, and a summary of a new and (to us) very exciting dinosaur [...]


  26. [...] If you are remotely interested in archosaurian breathing, you need to read this right now If you are remotely interested in archosaurian breathing, you need to read this right now April 3, 2013 Gah! No time, no time. I am overdue on some things, so this is a short pointer post, not the thorough breakdown this paper deserves. The short, short version: Schachner et al. Share [...]


  27. […] given animal is comprised mostly of the lung. Indeed, all the little pockets that arise comes from expansions of the primary bronchus, a tissue that surrounds the lung itself, and it is this tissue that forms little sacs, the […]


  28. […] The birdy-ness of crocodilian lungs was further cemented earlier this year when Schachner et al. described the lung morphology and airflow patterns in Nile crocs, which have lungs that are if anything even more birdlike than those of gators. I got to review that paper and blogged about it here. […]


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