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3D bite modeling and feeding mechanics of the largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela).

Fortuny J, Marcé-Nogué J, Heiss E, Sanchez M, Gil L, Galobart À - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes.These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey.Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Sabadell, Spain; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Terrassa, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Boundary conditions of the two 3D modeled skulls of Andrias davidianus.A) Adult skull specimen in dorsal view. B) Adult skull specimen in occipital view. C) Subadult skull specimen in frontal view. D) Adult skull specimen in ventral view E) Subadult skull specimen in dorsal view.
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pone.0121885.g001: Boundary conditions of the two 3D modeled skulls of Andrias davidianus.A) Adult skull specimen in dorsal view. B) Adult skull specimen in occipital view. C) Subadult skull specimen in frontal view. D) Adult skull specimen in ventral view E) Subadult skull specimen in dorsal view.

Mentions: Two loadings cases were analyzed involving bilateral and unilateral prehension (Fig. 1), considering the bilateral simulation when the two sides of the skull were biting while in the unilateral just the left side was biting, thus the right side was the balancing side.


3D bite modeling and feeding mechanics of the largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela).

Fortuny J, Marcé-Nogué J, Heiss E, Sanchez M, Gil L, Galobart À - PLoS ONE (2015)

Boundary conditions of the two 3D modeled skulls of Andrias davidianus.A) Adult skull specimen in dorsal view. B) Adult skull specimen in occipital view. C) Subadult skull specimen in frontal view. D) Adult skull specimen in ventral view E) Subadult skull specimen in dorsal view.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390218&req=5

pone.0121885.g001: Boundary conditions of the two 3D modeled skulls of Andrias davidianus.A) Adult skull specimen in dorsal view. B) Adult skull specimen in occipital view. C) Subadult skull specimen in frontal view. D) Adult skull specimen in ventral view E) Subadult skull specimen in dorsal view.
Mentions: Two loadings cases were analyzed involving bilateral and unilateral prehension (Fig. 1), considering the bilateral simulation when the two sides of the skull were biting while in the unilateral just the left side was biting, thus the right side was the balancing side.

Bottom Line: Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes.These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey.Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Sabadell, Spain; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Terrassa, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus