Mar 1, 1976

Tongue evolution in the lungless salamanders, family plethodontidae. I. Introduction, theory and a general model of dynamics

Journal of Morphology
R E Lombard, David B Wake


Plethodontid salamanders capture prey by projecting the tongue from the mouth. An analysis of theoretical mechanics of the hyobranchial skeleton is used to formulate a working hypothesis of tongue movements. Predictions that the skeletal elements of the tongue are included in the projectile and that the hyobranchial skeleton is folded during projection are central to the analysis. When decapitated in a particular way, salamanders project the tongue, and it is not retracted. When these heads are fixed and sectioned, examination confirms the predications. In turn, these observations are used to refine the working hypothesis and to generate a general model of tongue dynamics for plethodontids. Muscles performing the major roles of projection (subarcualis rectus I) and retraction (rectus cervicis profundus) are identified. The skeleton is folded passively along a morphological track having the form of a tractrix. Predictions concerning the shape of the track and the exact configuration of the folded skeleton are confirmed by study of sectioned material. The skeleton unfolds along the track during retraction and is spread into the resting state. The model developed herein will be used as a basis for predictions concerning selection ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Skeletal System
Benign Neoplasm of Tongue
Interphase Cell
Entire Skeleton
PYURF gene
Entire Tongue
Biological Evolution

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