So I finally managed to catch up on episode 2 of Ben Garrod’s Secrets of Bones and what can I say it’s just as good as the first ! This episode looked at the skeleton and how it assisted with movement and therefore focused on the vertebrae and limbs bones of animals to see how different types of movements are made.
Throughout the show there are beautiful examples of comparative anatomy by comparing the bones in different animals. It was wonderful to get an insight into how the vertebrae of a snake differs from other vertebrates with it’s spine consisting of ball and socket like joints.
There was also a look at two different types of mole; the European and Golden mole. For both of these animals successfully and effectively moving through dirt is necessary but the adaptions that each individual has is very different. The European mole has a very interestingly shaped humerus as well as a sesamoid bone which looks like a sixth digit. The Golden mole on the other hand has an elongated ulna which means that these two animals, which live in very similar environments, have adapted differently. Genetics studies on these moles have found that they are not at all closely related! The European mole is more related to shrews whilst the Golden mole is more closely related to elephants and manatees! A beautiful and perfect example of convergent evolution.
That is some of the wonders of both this show, science and the skeletal system. It shows you completely new things and I am learning new facts which each episode. I never knew that snakes could have up to 500 vertebrae, or that a moles humerus could be so different. I also learnt new terms – the sesamoid bone and Pentadactyl limb (I think these may have been mentioned in my osteology classes years ago but I can’t remember!). I also don’t feel that I am being either talked down to or that the science is being ‘dumbed down’ which is really nice. I also think that the programme is accessible for those with knowledge of the subject and those who are either new to it or only have basic knowledge of the area.
bascially I love this programme, the content and the presenter – now how do I get into something like this?!