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Development and three-dimensional morphology of the zygomaticotemporal suture in primate skulls

Curtis, Neil; Witzel, Ulrich; Fagan, Michael J.


Neil Curtis

Ulrich Witzel

Michael J. Fagan


Cranial sutures are an essential part of the growing skull, allowing bones to increase in size during growth, with their morphology widely believed to be dictated by the forces and displacements that they experience. The zygomaticotemporal suture in primates is located in the relatively weak zygomatic arch, and externally it appears a very simple connection. However, large forces are almost certainly transmitted across this suture, suggesting that it requires some level of stability while also allowing controlled movements under high loading. Here we examine the 2- and 3-dimensional (3D) morphology of the zygomaticotemporal suture in an ontogenetic series of Macaca fascicularis skulls. High resolution microcomputed tomography data sets were examined, and virtual and physical 3D replicas were created to assess both structure and general stability. The zygomaticotemporal suture is much more complex than its external appearance suggests, with interlocking facets between the adjacent zygomatic and temporal bones. It appears as if some movement is permitted across the suture in younger animals, but as they approach adulthood the complexity of the suture's interlocking bone facets reaches a level where these movements become minimal.


Curtis, N., Witzel, U., & Fagan, M. J. (2014). Development and three-dimensional morphology of the zygomaticotemporal suture in primate skulls. Folia primatologica, 85(2), 77-87.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 24, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 30, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Folia primatologica
Print ISSN 0015-5713
Electronic ISSN 1421-9980
Publisher Karger Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 85
Issue 2
Pages 77-87
Keywords Zygomaticotemporal suture, Zygomatic arch, Skull, Macaca, Microcomputed tomography, Suture morphology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Folia primatologica, 2014, v.85, issue 2.


Published article (589 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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