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Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull

Curtis, Neil; Fagan, M. J.; Evans, S. E.; Jones, M. E. H.; O'Higgins, P.

Authors

Neil Curtis

S. E. Evans

M. E. H. Jones

P. O'Higgins



Abstract

The skull is composed of many bones that come together at sutures. These sutures are important sites of growth, and as growth ceases some become fused while others remain patent. Their mechanical behaviour and how they interact with changing form and loadings to ensure balanced craniofacial development is still poorly understood. Early suture fusion often leads to disfiguring syndromes, thus is it imperative that we understand the function of sutures more clearly. By applying advanced engineering modelling techniques, we reveal for the first time that patent sutures generate a more widely distributed, high level of strain throughout the reptile skull. Without patent sutures, large regions of the skull are only subjected to infrequent low-level strains that could weaken the bone and result in abnormal development. Sutures are therefore not only sites of bone growth, but could also be essential for the modulation of strains necessary for normal growth and development in reptiles.

Publication Date Jun 26, 2013
Journal Journal of the Royal Society interface
Print ISSN 1742-5689
Electronic ISSN 1742-5662
Publisher Royal Society, The
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 86
Article Number ARTN 20130442
Pages 1-9
Institution Citation Curtis, N., Fagan, M. J., Evans, S. E., Jones, M. E. H., & O'Higgins, P. (2013). Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull. Journal of the Royal Society interface / the Royal Society, 10(86), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0442
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0442
Keywords Cranial suture, Multibody dynamics analysis, Sphenodon, Finite-element analysis
Publisher URL http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/86/20130442
Copyright Statement © 2013 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Journal of the Royal Society interface, 2013, v.10, issue 86

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Copyright Statement
© 2013 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.





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