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Anat Rec. 1978 Feb;190(2):217-22.

Action of the pterygoideus muscle during feeding in the lizard Uromastix aegyptius (Agamidae).


The actions of the deep and superficial portions of the pterygoideus muscle and the depressor mandibulae were studied in the agamid lizard, Uromastix aegyptius, using fine wire electrodes. The EMG signals were recorded, while simultaneously recording the jaw positions during feeding on movie film at 32 fps. Muscle activity varies with different types of food. The deep and superficial portions of the pterygoideus performed different functions. The deep pterygoideus functioned during opening of the jaws, presumably to protract the jaw. The superficial pterygoideus was strictly a jaw elevator. The depressor mandibulae is not the initiator of jaw opening. When biting on tough food items, the deep pterygoideus and depressor mandibular were active.

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