Skull Morphometrics

Skull Morphometrics

  • Submitted By: btrendy5
  • Date Submitted: 09/21/2010 8:26 AM
  • Category: Science
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Comparative Cranial Morphology of the Braincase Size of Herbivores and Carnivores

Skull Morphometrics Experiment Paper for Biology 130

Fall 2009


The purpose of this study was to compare differences of the cranial morphologies of the braincase sizes between different species of carnivores and herbivores. It was hypothesized that the breadth of the braincase and height of the braincase would be larger in carnivores because they consume more protein than herbivores. However, the sizes of the skulls varied based on age differences and species differences. Ratio standardization was used to determine the actual size of the breadth and height of the braincase proportional to the skull length of each species. Significant differences were found for both breadth and height of carnivores and herbivores. The carnivores’ braincase heights and breadths were taller and wider than that of the herbivores’.

Morphometrics analyzes the shape of organisms using quantitative studies. It can also be used to determine many biological components of a species using physical characteristics. In this particular experiment, we are examining variations of skull traits to better understand the function of the traits and the roles they play to the different species involved. I was interested in comparing the size of the braincase to determine if carnivores have larger brains than herbivores because they have more protein in their diets. These two diet types are the main diets that are compared because they usually have significant differences in physical characteristics that have evolved over time. For instance, typical features common to carnivores are their large mouth openings, large primary muscle on the side of the head for operating the jaw, and teeth that are sharp and pointed used for grasping and shredding prey. The teeth come together like shears, and are designed to swallow food whole. Herbivores are adapted to eat plants not meat,...

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