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Allometry predicts trabecular bone structural properties in the carnivoran jaw joint

M. Aleksander Wysocki, Z. Jack Tseng

PLoS ONE, 13(8), 24 August 2018. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202824


Allometry; Trabecular bone; Carnivorean; 3D modeling; CT-scan


Because overall cranial morphology-biomechanics linkage in carnivorans is significantly influenced by both feeding and non-feeding ecological variables, whole-skull mechanical performance measures may be less sensitive to feeding ecology than regional characteristics within the skull. The temporomandibular joint could be one regional characteristic that is highly sensitive to feeding ecology considering that this joint is used in prey capture, food processing, and experiences compressive loading during mastication. Through 3D model construction, 3D printing, and compression tests, morphological and mechanical performance measures were determined for the temporomandibular joint trabecular bone structure of 40 species representative of the phylogenetic and ecology diversity of Carnivora. Remarkably, the results indicate that relative fill volume, relative structural complexity, elastic modulus, and relative maximum compressive strength of trabecular bone structure are not significantly related to phylogeny or ecology. The results reveal that morphological and mechanical performance attributes of trabecular bone structure are primarily influenced by body size, and that positive centroid size allometry and positive body mass allometry are present for structural complexity. The lack of feeding ecological signal in dorso-ventral compressive loading of temporomandibular joint models indicates that carnivoran temporomandibular joint trabecular structures may not undergo significant differential remodeling as an evolutionary response to different mechanically demanding feeding tasks…

How Our Software Was Used

CT-image stacks were segmented using Dragonfly.

Author Affiliation

Graduate Program in Computational Cell Biology, Anatomy, and Pathology, Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

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