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Anderson, N. J. (2009). Biomechanics of feeding and neck motion in the softshell turtle, apalone spinifera, rafinesque. Unpublished thesis , Idaho State University. 
Added by: Admin (29 Jan 2012 12:38:31 UTC)
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
BibTeX citation key: Anderson2009a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Apalone, Apalone spinifera, Ernährung = nutrition, Morphologie = morphology, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Trionychidae, Verhalten = ethology
Creators: Anderson
Publisher: Idaho State University
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Abstract     
Trionychiade Generation of subambient buccal pressure is a necessary component of aquatic feeding for many vertebrates. While past studies found similar mechanics of the jaw and hyoid apparatus in several species of turtles, the role of suction feeding in this group is debated. Two components of suction feeding, compensatory and inertial suction feeding, have been proposed for this group. I studied the kinematics of feeding in the softshell turtle, Apalone spinifera , which are thought to feed using inertial suction. Kinematic analysis suggests that while jaw and hyoid mechanics are similar to other species of turtles, this species differs in several important aspects. First, static prey is contacted prior to initiation of the feeding sequence, hence any bow wave from head and/or the body has proceeded past the prey by the time feeding is initiated. Secondly, the lips occlude the corners of the mouth during the gape cycle, which may assist feeding and possibly eliminate the need for head rotation during feeding. Lastly, for some feeding sequences, the neck moves in reverse, rather than forward motion (i.e., striking) that is commonly reported in turtles. The kinematics of prey capture in A. spinifera will be compared to other species of aquatic feeding turtles. In chapter two, the head and neck musculature of the spiny softshell turtle, Apalone spinifera , is described. In order to interpret the functional role of these muscles during neck motion, we compared our anatomical results to biomechanical predictions derived from two biomechanical models. The lever model describes motion that is achieved by fixation of the neck into two arms and that motion will be limited to synchronous motion of two joints. For the lever model, few, large muscles would be used to activate motion. The serial activation model describes sequential motion that will be distributed across several joints and that each joint contributes to the motion of the neck. For the serial activation model, many, small muscles would be used to achieve motion. The musculature of the softshell turtle, while well developed serially arranged muscles are present, the hypaxial musculature is highly modified, suggesting a hybrid motion between these two models.
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