Many evolutionary studies use comparisons within feeding or locomotor systems to test hypotheses about the evolution of neuromechanical systems. In collaboration with Michael Granatosky, we have been comparing the biomechanics of feeding and locomotor systems to investigate form-function relationships in musculoskeletal systems. We have shown that joint angular excursions during cyclic behaviors – chewing, walking and running – differ between feeding and locomotor systems, reflecting variation in the functional optimality criteria governing the evolution of the systems. This pattern in jaw- and limb-joint excursions may be related to variation to the evolution of disparity during tetrapod evolution.
Differences in muscle moment arms lengths, mechanical advantages, and force vector orientations underlie differing optimality criteria between primate feeding and locomotor systems
Granatosky, MC, Ross, CF. Journal of Anatomy. (2020) [DOI]
Got rhythm? Rhythmicity differences reflect different optimality criteria in feeding and locomotor systems
Faltings, L, Young, M, Ross, CF, Granatosky, MG. Evolution. (in press) (2022)
Joint angular excursions during cyclical behaviors differ between tetrapod feeding and locomotor systems
Granatosky, MC, McElroy, E, Laird, MF, Iriarte-Diaz, J, Taylor, AB and Ross, CF. Journal of Experimental Biology. (2019) [DOI]