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J Biomech. 2008;41(6):1274-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.01.012. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Rigid-body analysis of a lizard skull: modelling the skull of Uromastyx hardwickii.

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Centre for Medical Engineering and Technology, University of Hull, Hull, East Yorkshire HU6 7RX, UK.


Lizard skulls vary greatly in their detailed morphology. Theoretical models and practical studies have posited a definite relationship between skull morphology and bite performance, but this can be difficult to demonstrate in vivo. Computer modelling provides an alternative approach, as long as hard and soft tissue components can be integrated and the model can be validated. An anatomically accurate three-dimensional computer model of an Uromastyx hardwickii skull was developed for rigid-body dynamic analysis. The Uromastyx jaw was first opened under motion control, and then muscle forces were applied to produce biting simulations where bite forces and joint forces were calculated. Bite forces comparable to those reported in the literature were predicted, and detailed muscular force information was produced along with additional information on the stabilizing role of temporal ligaments in late jaw closing.

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