Academic Covers

Below are academic journals, scientific magazines, and newspapers covers by Rui Diogo and other partnering colleges. 

Rui Diogo 

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Animal body parts evolve with variable degrees of integration that nonetheless yield functional adult phenotypes: but, how? The analysis of modularity with Anatomical Network Analysis (AnNA) is used to quantitatively determine phenotypic modules based on the physical connection among anatomical elements, an approach that is valuable to understand developmental and evolutionary constraints.

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We provide the first detailed ontogenetic analysis of human limb muscles using whole-mount immunostaining. We compare our observations with the few earlier studies that have focused on the development of these muscles, and with data available on limb evolution, variations and pathologies. Our study confirms the transient presence of several atavistic muscles – present in our ancestors but normally absent from the adult human – during normal embryonic human development, and reveals the existence of others not previously described in human embryos.


Rui Diogo leads the team that detected some muscles in embryos that adults lost millions of years ago in evolution.

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We focus on the crucial links between the discovery of nonhuman primates by Westerners, discussions on our place in nature, the chain of being, racism, and the history of primate comparative anatomy and of so-called “anatomical human racial studies.” Strikingly, for more than a millennium humans knew more about the internal anatomy of a single monkey species than about that of their own bodies. This is because Galen used monkeys to infer human anatomy, in line with the human-animal continuity implied by the Greek notion of scala naturae.

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Common chimps and bonobos are our closest living relatives but almost nothing is known about bonobo internal anatomy. We present the first phylogenetic analysis to include musculoskeletal data obtained from a recent dissection of bonobos.


Rui Diogo, is from Castelo Branco and has just been awarded, in the United States, by the world's largest organization for anatomists. At 40, he is an international reference.


Here we provide the first detailed description, based on immunohistochemistry and dissections, of the limb muscle development in the direct developing frog Eleutherodactylus coqui. We compare E. coqui with other tetrapods and discuss our results in a broad evolutionary and developmental context to address some major questions concerning the origin, evolution, and ontogeny of the tetrapod limbs. 

Insights from comparative myological studies on the old and unsolved forelimb/hindlimb enigma
September 2012

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Most textbooks and research reports state that the structures of the tetrapod forelimbs and hindlimbs are serial homologues. From this view, the main challenge of evolutionary biologists is not to explain the similarity between tetrapod limbs, but instead to explain why and how they have diverged. However, these statements seem to be related to a confusion between the serial homology of the vertebrate pelvic and pectoral appendages as a whole, and the serial homology of the specific soft- and hard-tissue structures of the tetrapod forelimbs and hindlimbs, leading to an even more crucial and puzzling question being overlooked: why are the skeletal and particularly the muscle structures of the forelimb and hindlimb actually so strikingly similar to each other?

On the anatomy and function of the cephalic structures 
January 2000

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We studied, in fine detail, the functional morphology of the cephalic structures related to the feeding mechanisms -movements of the mouth, suspensorium, opercular series, hyoid arch, maxillary barbels, and mandibular barbels - in three species of Chrysichthys. For comparison, a large number of other catfish genera were also studied. Our observations and comparisons, in association with the data available in the literature, suggest that the mechanical performance of the cephalic feeding structures in Chrysichthys probably represents the typical pattern of a catfish.

Nicole Barger

The Visible Ape Project  May 2021

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The Visible Ape Project (VAP) is a free online platform providing unprecedented access to a suite of resources designed to comprehensively illustrate and educate about the anatomy of our closest relatives, the apes. It contains photographs, magnetic resonance images, and computed tomography scans, as well as three-dimensional models that can be manipulated to explore homologies and variations in soft and hard tissues in hylobatids, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos.