Project Hyoid evolution

Hyolingual evolution

The anatomical diversity of hypoid and tongue morphology is poorly documented. Peishu Li is working in the Luo and Ross Labs on the evolution and function of the hyoid apparatus in mammals. His work includes morphometric studies of CT scan data sets, and measures of hyoid kinematics during chewing and swallowing in primates and other mammals.  Kaleb Sellers is using DiceCT techniques to study the evolution of tongue morphology in mammals, starting with primates.

Project Chewing

Chewing and Swallowing

Tongue movements during chewing and swallowing have been difficult to study because the tongue is hidden in the mouth. We used XROMM data on 3D tongue movements during chewing and swallowing in macaques to test Abd-el-Malek’s hypotheses about tongue twisting during chewing in humans. We are developing computational models of tongue function and evaluating whether similar movements are also seen in other amniotes. Courtney Orsbon developed a workflow to integrate XROMM and DiceCT methods and used these methods to propose a new hydraulic mechanism of tongue base retraction in macaques during swallowing. We are using this workflow in other studies and testing the applicability of this model to other mammals.

amia fish

Suction feeding

In collaboration with the Westneat Lab, Katie Whitlow studied suction feeding kinematics in Polypterus and Amia, and Samantha Gartner studied suction feeding in lungfish, improving our understanding of suction feeding in basal fishes.