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Mandibular corpus bone strain in goats and alpacas: Implications for understanding the biomechanics of mandibular form in selenodont artiodactyls

By Susan H Williams, Christopher J Vinyard, Christine E Wall and William L Hylander


The goal of this study is to clarify the functional and biomechanical relationship between jaw morphology and in vivo masticatory loading in selenodont artiodactyls. We compare in vivo strains from the mandibular corpus of goats and alpacas to predicted strain patterns derived from biomechanical models for mandibular corpus loading during mastication. Peak shear strains in both species average 600–700 µε on the working side and approximately 450 µε on the balancing side. Maximum principal tension in goats and alpacas is directed at approximately 30° dorsocaudally relative to the long axis of the corpus on the working side and approximately perpendicular to the long axis on the balancing side. Strain patterns in both species indicate primarily torsion of the working-side corpus about the long axis and parasagittal bending and/or lateral transverse bending of the balancing-side corpus. Interpretation of the strain patterns is consistent with comparative biomechanical analyses of jaw morphology suggesting that in goats, the balancing-side mandibular corpus is parasagittally bent whereas in alpacas it experiences lateral transverse bending. However, in light of higher working-side corpus strains, biomechanical explanations of mandibular form also need to consider that torsion influences relative corpus size and shape. Furthermore, the complex combination of loads that occur along the selenodont artiodactyl mandibular corpus during the power stroke has two implications. First, added clarification of these loading patterns requires in vivo approaches for elucidating biomechanical links between mandibular corpus morphology and masticatory loading. Second, morphometric approaches may be limited in their ability to accurately infer masticatory loading regimes of selenodont artiodactyl jaws

Topics: Original Articles
Publisher: Blackwell Science Inc
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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