25 March 1977
Vol 195, Issue 4284

About The Cover

Dorsal surface of Rhinophis drummond-hayi from Namumukula, Sri Lanka. The smoothly irridescent scales of the burrowing uropeltid snakes have a wide, freely overlapping surface formed of a -keratin grid. Its regular ridges near 2500 angstroms apparently reduce its free surface energy, keep dirt from sticking to the surface, and keep friction low. Consequently these animals may move along their soil tunnesl with minimum effort (about × 70). See page 1348 [C. Gans and D. Baic, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor]