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Home / Applications / Biomechanics / Functional Morphology

Functional Morphology

Organismal Biology and Anatomy

Functional morphology is the relationship between the structure and function of human or animal features. At the University of Chicago, Dr. Callum Ross leads a research program in evolutionary morphology focusing on comparative biomechanics of the head, with special emphasis on the feeding systems of primates, crocodilians, and other vertebrates.

Oftentimes, the motion of the animal that needs to be studied is not on the outside of the body. In those cases, X-ray images are used to visualize the bone motion under the skin. X-ray machines can refresh very quickly, so Xcitex ProCapture high-speed cameras are placed to image the X-ray phosphor tubes. This new technique, pioneered at Brown University in Rhode Island, Stony Brook University in New York, and the University of Chicago, enables researchers to analyze exact bone motion.

This image shows a primate eating and swallowing. Feeding function and behaviors are essential for animal survival, and help provide insight into human larynx issues. In this instance, the researchers used a combination of MiDAS DA and ProAnalyst motion analysis software to capture the vital signs and forces. ProAnalyst 1-D Line Tracking is used to quantify speed and position as the jaw opens and closes.

Learn more: http://rosslab.uchicago.edu/front-page

Image Source: U Chicago Dept. of Organismal Biology and Anatomy website