Carapace Cornucopia

Carapace Cornucopia by Jennifer Landin

Carapace Cornucopia by Jennifer Landin

A trip to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences inspired this painting. The Nature Resource Center has a room-sized ‘cabinet of curiosities’ with loads of turtle shells. Inspiration!

The upcoming “Patterns in Nature” art show opening was creeping closer and I struggled to find a concept – shafts of wheat? a composite flower? a millipede? All left me uninspired.

But turtles… aDORable. You can’t go wrong with a pile of turtles.

Cool thing about these shells is… all the bones are the same – just different shapes and patterns. Five big scutes (keratin plates) follow the midline, four scutes surround either side, and 12 scutes line the margins of each side. Under the scutes, the bones of the shell are just expanded ribs and vertebra.

Cool example of diversity, divergent evolution, and homologous structures.

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