The jaw adductor muscles of Champsosaurus and their implications for feeding mechanics

  • Author / Creator
    James, Michael
  • The jaw musculature of Champsosaurus has been enigmatic since the taxon was first described. The extant phylogenetic bracketing method is used to determine the morphology of the jaw adductor musculature. Rotational mathematics is used to calculate the muscle forces, torques, angular accelerations, and angular velocities generated by the jaw muscles. The mechanical strength of the skulls of neochoristoderes and crocodilians are investigated using finite element analysis. Finally, the hydrodynamic performance of the skulls of neochoristoderes and crocodilians is studied. The analysis is used to compare neochoristoderes to their extant ecological analogues, crocodilians, and determine the palaeoecological implications of the results. It was found that Champsosaurus rotates the lower jaw faster, the mechanical strength was lower, and shows better hydrodynamic performance than crocodilians. The results suggest that Champsosaurus was ideally suited to prey upon small or juvenile fish, and did not overlap its niche with sympatric crocodilians.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.