Jaw Lever Model

By Mark Westneat, Field Museum of Natural History

Type of Resource Laboratory activity 
Topic Feeding 
Taxa Vertebrate 
Organizational Level Systems 
Estimated time to do activity 1 hr 
Background required/level college and above 
Role of activity in your course Students in Comparative Anatomy are provided the model and a small data set to examine the role of crabnial muscles in jaw closing in fishes.  
What students might learn from this course or activity Basic skull function, biomechanics of biting during feeding, muscle mechanics (Hill equation, force, speed). 
Special tools, equipment or software needed Mac computer (model still runs in OS 9) 
Description A simple biomechanical model of a vertebrate lower jaw (fish mainly, but other jaws can be analyzed). Data on jaw dimensions and muscle features are required. The software application simulates contraction of two muscles using the Hill equation to simulate muscle force and velocity as the jaw closes. Various parameters such as bite force, work and power are provided as output. 
Associated Files