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Scientific American recently featured the research of Sean Doody, adjunct professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Doody and his colleagues examine the complex, spiraling nest burrows produced by the yellow-spotted Australian monitor lizard, Varanus panoptes. Members of this species dig descending burrows that have a straight, sloping upper section, a spiraling section formed of three descending convolutions, and a terminal nesting chamber located right at the bottom. Their new study reveals that these corkscrew V. panoptes burrows are the first helical burrows known for any reptile, and also the deepest nesting excavations produced by any tetrapod. Read the story here.

New Scientist also featured the study in this article.