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Bite force and cranial bone strain in four species of lizards

Ross, CF; Porro, LB; Herrel, A; Evans, SE; Fagan, MJ; (2018) Bite force and cranial bone strain in four species of lizards. Journal of Experimental Biology , 221 (23) , Article jeb180240. 10.1242/jeb.180240. Green open access

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Abstract

In vivo bone strain data provide direct evidence of strain patterns in the cranium during biting. Compared to mammals, in vivo bone strains in lizard skulls are poorly documented. This paper presents strain data from the skulls of Anolis equestris, Gekko gecko, Iguana iguana and Salvator merianae during transducer biting. Analysis of variance was used to investigate effects of bite force, bite point, diet, cranial morphology and cranial kinesis on strain magnitudes. Within individuals the most consistent determinants of variance in bone strain magnitudes are gage location and bite point, with the importance of bite force varying between individuals. Inter-site variance in strain magnitudes—strain gradient—is present in all individuals, and varies with bite point. Between individuals within species, variance in strain magnitude is driven primarily by variation in bite force, not gage location or bite point, suggesting that inter-individual variation in patterns of strain magnitude is minimal. Between species, variation in strain magnitudes is significantly impacted by bite force and species membership, as well as by interactions between gage location, species, and bite point. Independent of bite force, species differences in cranial strain magnitudes may reflect selection for different cranial morphology in relation to feeding function, but what these performance criteria are is not clear. The relatively low strain magnitudes in Iguana and Uromastyx compared to other lizards may be related to their herbivorous diet. Cranial kinesis and the presence or absence of postorbital and supratemporal bars are not important determinants of inter-specific variation in strain magnitudes.

Type: Article
Title: Bite force and cranial bone strain in four species of lizards
Location: USA
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1242/jeb.180240
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.180240
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: lizard, Biomechanics, feeding, Skull, Anolis, Gekko, Iguana, Salvator
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060198
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