Comparative Functional Morphology of Maximum Mandibular Opening (Gape) in Primates

  • Richard J. Smith


There is wide variation among primates in the size and shape of teeth, the size and position of masticatory muscles, and the morphology of the craniofacial skeleton. The functional significance of these differences is usually considered to be related to the biomechanics of mastication, more specifically, to the delivery of forces for obtaining and breaking down food, and for dissipating the resulting masticatory stresses (Hylander, 1977; Oyen et al., 1979) (this excludes features obviously related to other functions, such as the braincase and orbits).


Masseter Muscle Temporomandibular Joint Functional Morphology Mandibular Condyle Occlusal Plane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthodontics Dental SchoolUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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