Kinematic Analyses of Ornithopod Jaw Mechanisms

  • David B. Weishampel
Part of the Advances in Anatomy Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 87)


The aim of kinematic analysis of ornithopod jaw systems is to find and explain correlations between feeding function and aspects of the morphology of the apparatus (i.e., shape and relative dimensions of skeletal elements and joints and their spatial relationships). For organisms such as ornithopods without closely related living descendants to act as experimental surrogates, it is not possible to rely with any great certainty on reconstructions of cranial musculature, since it is clear from electromyographic studies (Weijs and Dantuma 1975; Gans et al. 1978; Herring et al. 1979; Hiiemae 1978) that each jaw muscle participates in various feeding activities, but not to the same extent (contra one muscle = one action), therefore making it impossible to deduce muscle-firing sequences (recruitment of muscle action) for any set of masticatory muscles. Kinematic analyses allow modeling of complex jaw systems through manipulation of spatial relationships of the skull without making assumptions about the muscular system.


Occlusal Surface Tooth Wear Power Stroke Maxillary Tooth Wear Facet 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Weishampel
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Arts & SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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