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Masticatory biomechanics in the rabbit: a multi-body dynamics analysis (2014)
Journal Article
Watson, P. J., Gröning, F., Curtis, N., Fitton, L. C., Herrel, A., McCormack, S. W., & Fagan, M. J. (2014). Masticatory biomechanics in the rabbit: a multi-body dynamics analysis. Journal of the Royal Society interface / the Royal Society, 11(99), (20140564-20140564). doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0564. ISSN 1742-5689

Multi-body dynamics is a powerful engineering tool which is becoming increasingly popular for the simulation and analysis of skull biomechanics. This paper presents the first application of multi-body dynamics to analyse the biomechanics of the rabbi... Read More

Development and three-dimensional morphology of the zygomaticotemporal suture in primate skulls (2014)
Journal Article
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). doi:10.1159/000357526. ISSN 0015-5713

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... Read More

Cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull (2013)
Journal Article
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). doi:10.1098/rsif.2013.0442. ISSN 1742-5689

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... Read More

The head and neck muscles associated with feeding in sphenodon (Reptilia: Lepidosauria: Rhynchocephalia) (2011)
Journal Article
Curtis, N., Jones, M. E., Junfen, S., O'Higgins, P., Evans, S. E., & Fagan, M. (2011). The head and neck muscles associated with feeding in sphenodon (Reptilia: Lepidosauria: Rhynchocephalia). Palaeontologia electronica, 12(2), 0 - 0. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029804

Feeding in Sphenodon, the tuatara of New Zealand, is of interest for several reasons. First, the modern animal is threatened by extinction, and some populations are in competition for food with Pacific rats. Second, Sphenodon demonstrates a feeding a... Read More

Functional relationship between skull form and feeding mechanics in Sphenodon, and implications for diapsid skull development (2011)
Journal Article
Curtis, N., Shi, J., Fagan, M. J., Evans, S. E., Jones, M. E. H., & O'Higgins, P. (2011). Functional relationship between skull form and feeding mechanics in Sphenodon, and implications for diapsid skull development. PloS one, 6(12), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029804. ISSN 1932-6203

The vertebrate skull evolved to protect the brain and sense organs, but with the appearance of jaws and associated forces there was a remarkable structural diversification. This suggests that the evolution of skull form may be linked to these forces,... Read More

Visualising muscle anatomy using three-dimensional computer models - an example using the head and neck muscles of Sphenodon (2009)
Journal Article
Curtis, N., Jones, M. E., Evans, S. E., O'Higgins, P., & Fagan, M. J. (2009). Visualising muscle anatomy using three-dimensional computer models - an example using the head and neck muscles of Sphenodon. Palaeontologia electronica, 12(3),

We demonstrate how the computer-based technique of multi-body dynamics analysis (MDA) can be used to create schematic, but informative three-dimensional (3D) representations of complex muscle anatomy. As an example we provide an overview of the head... Read More

Biomechanical assessment of evolutionary changes in the lepidosaurian skull (2009)
Journal Article
Fagan, M. J., Evans, S. E., O'Higgins, P., Moazen, M., Curtis, N., O'Higgins, P., …Fagan, M. J. (2009). Biomechanical assessment of evolutionary changes in the lepidosaurian skull. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(20), 8273-8277. doi:10.1073/pnas.0813156106

The lepidosaurian skull has long been of interest to functional morphologists and evolutionary biologists. Patterns of bone loss and gain, particularly in relation to bars and fenestrae, have led to a variety of hypotheses concerning skull use and ki... Read More

γ-Secretase-dependent cleavage of amyloid precursor protein regulates osteoblast behavior (2009)
Journal Article
McLeod, J., Curtis, N., Lewis, H. D., Good, M. A., Fagan, M. J., & Genever, P. G. (2009). γ-Secretase-dependent cleavage of amyloid precursor protein regulates osteoblast behavior. FASEB Journal, 23(9), (2942-2955). doi:10.1096/fj.08-121657. ISSN 0892-6638

gamma-Secretase cleaves amyloid precursor protein (APP) to generate amyloid-beta (A beta) peptides, which aggregate in the brain in Alzheimer's disease (AD). gamma-Secretase also cleaves molecules that regulate osteoblast activity, such as Notch and... Read More

Assessment of the role of sutures in a lizard skull: a computer modelling study (2009)
Journal Article
Moazen, M., Curtis, N., O'Higgins, P., Jones, M. E., Evans, S. E., & Fagan, M. J. (2009). Assessment of the role of sutures in a lizard skull: a computer modelling study. Proceedings. the Royal Society. Biological sciences /, 276(1654), 39-46. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0863

Sutures form an integral part of the functioning skull, but their role has long been debated among vertebrate morphologists and palaeontologists. Furthermore, the relationship between typical skull sutures, and those involved in cranial kinesis, is p... Read More

Combined finite element and multibody dynamics analysis of biting in aUromastyx hardwickiilizard skull (2008)
Journal Article
Moazen, M., Curtis, N., Evans, S. E., O’Higgins, P., & Fagan, M. J. (2008). Combined finite element and multibody dynamics analysis of biting in aUromastyx hardwickiilizard skull. Journal of anatomy, 213(5), 499-508. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00980.x

Lizard skulls vary greatly in shape and construction, and radical changes in skull form during evolution have made this an intriguing subject of research. The mechanics of feeding have surely been affected by this change in skull form, but whether th... Read More

A new approach to amino acid racemization in enamel: testing of a less destructive sampling methodology (2008)
Journal Article
Griffin, R. C., Moody, H., Penkman, K. E. H., Fagan, M. J., Curtis, N., & Collins, M. J. (2008). A new approach to amino acid racemization in enamel: testing of a less destructive sampling methodology. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 53(4), (910-916). doi:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00753.x. ISSN 0022-1198

Aspartic acid racemization has been found to be an accurate measure of age at death for recent forensic material. This paper examines the practicality of using acid etching of the tooth surface to extract amino acids from the enamel for racemization... Read More

Predicting skull loading: applying multibody dynamics analysis to a macaque skull (2008)
Journal Article
Curtis, N., Kupczik, K., O'Higgins, P., Moazen, M., & Fagan, M. (2008). Predicting skull loading: applying multibody dynamics analysis to a macaque skull. Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 291(5), (491-501). doi:10.1002/ar.20689. ISSN 1932-8486

Evaluating stress and strain fields in anatomical structures is a way to test hypotheses that relate specific features of facial and skeletal morphology to mechanical loading. Engineering techniques such as finite element analysis are now commonly us... Read More

Rigid-body analysis of a lizard skull: modelling the skull of Uromastyx hardwickii (2008)
Journal Article
Moazen, M., Curtis, N., Evans, S. E., O'Higgins, P., & Fagan, M. J. (2008). Rigid-body analysis of a lizard skull: modelling the skull of Uromastyx hardwickii. Journal of biomechanics, 41(6), (1274-1280). doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.01.012. ISSN 0021-9290

Lizard skulls vary greatly in their detailed morphology. Theoretical models and practical studies have posited a definite relationship between skull morphology and bite performance, but this can be difficult to demonstrate in vivo. Computer modelling... Read More