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Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents

(2017) JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 231(3). p.380-397
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Abstract
Murines are well known for their generalist diet, but several of them display specializations towards a carnivorous diet such as the amphibious Indo-Pacific water-rats. Despite the fact that carnivory evolved repeatedly in this group, few studies have investigated associated changes in jaw muscle anatomy and biomechanics. Here, we describe the jaw muscles and cranial anatomy of a carnivorous water-rat, Hydromys chrysogaster. The architecture of the jaw musculature of six specimens captured both on Obi and Papua were studied and described using dissections. We identified the origin and insertions of the jaw muscles, and quantified muscle mass, fiber length, physiological cross-sectional area, and muscle vectors for each muscle. Using a biomechanical model, we estimated maximum incisor and molar bite force at different gape angles. Finally, we conducted a 2D geometric morphometric analyses to compare jaw shape, mechanical potential, and diversity in lever-arm ratios for a set of 238 specimens, representative of Australo-Papuan carnivorous and omnivorous murids. Our study reveals major changes in the muscle proportions among Hydromys and its omnivorous close relative, Melomys. Hydromys was found to have large superficial masseter and temporalis muscles as well as a reduced deep masseter and zygomatico-mandibularis, highlighting major functional divergence among omnivorous and carnivorous murines. Changes in these muscles are also accompanied by changes in jaw shape and the lines of action of the muscles. A more vertically oriented masseter, reduced masseteric muscles, as well as an elongated jaw with proodont lower incisors are key features indicative of a reduced propalinality in carnivorous Hydromys. Differences in the fiber length of the masseteric muscles were also detected between Hydromys and Melomys, which highlight potential adaptations to a wide gape in Hydromys, allowing it to prey on larger animals. Using a biomechanical model, we inferred a greater bite force in Hydromys than in Melomys, implying a functional shift between omnivory and carnivory. However, Melomys has an unexpected greater bite force at large gape compared with Hydromys. Compared with omnivorous Melomys, Hydromys have a very distinctive low mandible with a well-developed coronoid process, and a reduced angular process that projects posteriorly to the ascending rami. This jaw shape, along with our mechanical potential and jaw lever ratio estimates, suggests that Hydromys has a faster jaw closing at the incisor, with a higher bite force at the level of the molars. The narrowing of the Hydromys jaw explains this higher lever advantage at the molars, which constitutes a good compromise between a wide gape, a reduced anterior masseteric mass, and long fiber lengths. Lever arms of the superficial and deep masseter are less favourable to force output of the mandible in Hydromys but more favourable to speed. Compared with the small input lever arm defined between the condyle and the angular process, the relatively longer mandible of Hydromys increases the speed at the expense of the output force. This unique combination of morphological features of the masticatory apparatus possibly has permitted Hydromys to become a highly successful amphibious predator in the Indo-Pacific region.
Keywords
adaptation, carnivory, cranio-mandibular evolution, Hydromys, masticatory muscle, Murinae, muscle anatomy, JAW MUSCLES, FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY, APODEMUS-SPECIOSUS, BITE FORCE, ADAPTATIONS, CHRYSOGASTER, PHYLOGENY, ECOLOGY, ANATOMY, MURIDAE

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MLA
Fabre, P. H., et al. “Masticatory Muscle Architecture in a Water-Rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and Its Implication for the Evolution of Carnivory in Rodents.” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, vol. 231, no. 3, 2017, pp. 380–97, doi:10.1111/joa.12639.
APA
Fabre, P.-H., Herrel, A., Fitriana, Y., Meslin, L., & Hautier, L. (2017). Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents. JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, 231(3), 380–397. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12639
Chicago author-date
Fabre, P.-H., Anthony Herrel, Y. Fitriana, L. Meslin, and L. Hautier. 2017. “Masticatory Muscle Architecture in a Water-Rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and Its Implication for the Evolution of Carnivory in Rodents.” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY 231 (3): 380–97. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12639.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Fabre, P.-H., Anthony Herrel, Y. Fitriana, L. Meslin, and L. Hautier. 2017. “Masticatory Muscle Architecture in a Water-Rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and Its Implication for the Evolution of Carnivory in Rodents.” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY 231 (3): 380–397. doi:10.1111/joa.12639.
Vancouver
1.
Fabre P-H, Herrel A, Fitriana Y, Meslin L, Hautier L. Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents. JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 2017;231(3):380–97.
IEEE
[1]
P.-H. Fabre, A. Herrel, Y. Fitriana, L. Meslin, and L. Hautier, “Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents,” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, vol. 231, no. 3, pp. 380–397, 2017.
@article{8660161,
  abstract     = {Murines are well known for their generalist diet, but several of them display specializations towards a carnivorous diet such as the amphibious Indo-Pacific water-rats. Despite the fact that carnivory evolved repeatedly in this group, few studies have investigated associated changes in jaw muscle anatomy and biomechanics. Here, we describe the jaw muscles and cranial anatomy of a carnivorous water-rat, Hydromys chrysogaster. The architecture of the jaw musculature of six specimens captured both on Obi and Papua were studied and described using dissections. We identified the origin and insertions of the jaw muscles, and quantified muscle mass, fiber length, physiological cross-sectional area, and muscle vectors for each muscle. Using a biomechanical model, we estimated maximum incisor and molar bite force at different gape angles. Finally, we conducted a 2D geometric morphometric analyses to compare jaw shape, mechanical potential, and diversity in lever-arm ratios for a set of 238 specimens, representative of Australo-Papuan carnivorous and omnivorous murids. Our study reveals major changes in the muscle proportions among Hydromys and its omnivorous close relative, Melomys. Hydromys was found to have large superficial masseter and temporalis muscles as well as a reduced deep masseter and zygomatico-mandibularis, highlighting major functional divergence among omnivorous and carnivorous murines. Changes in these muscles are also accompanied by changes in jaw shape and the lines of action of the muscles. A more vertically oriented masseter, reduced masseteric muscles, as well as an elongated jaw with proodont lower incisors are key features indicative of a reduced propalinality in carnivorous Hydromys. Differences in the fiber length of the masseteric muscles were also detected between Hydromys and Melomys, which highlight potential adaptations to a wide gape in Hydromys, allowing it to prey on larger animals. Using a biomechanical model, we inferred a greater bite force in Hydromys than in Melomys, implying a functional shift between omnivory and carnivory. However, Melomys has an unexpected greater bite force at large gape compared with Hydromys. Compared with omnivorous Melomys, Hydromys have a very distinctive low mandible with a well-developed coronoid process, and a reduced angular process that projects posteriorly to the ascending rami. This jaw shape, along with our mechanical potential and jaw lever ratio estimates, suggests that Hydromys has a faster jaw closing at the incisor, with a higher bite force at the level of the molars. The narrowing of the Hydromys jaw explains this higher lever advantage at the molars, which constitutes a good compromise between a wide gape, a reduced anterior masseteric mass, and long fiber lengths. Lever arms of the superficial and deep masseter are less favourable to force output of the mandible in Hydromys but more favourable to speed. Compared with the small input lever arm defined between the condyle and the angular process, the relatively longer mandible of Hydromys increases the speed at the expense of the output force. This unique combination of morphological features of the masticatory apparatus possibly has permitted Hydromys to become a highly successful amphibious predator in the Indo-Pacific region.},
  author       = {Fabre, P.-H. and Herrel, Anthony and Fitriana, Y. and Meslin, L. and Hautier, L.},
  issn         = {0021-8782},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ANATOMY},
  keywords     = {adaptation,carnivory,cranio-mandibular evolution,Hydromys,masticatory muscle,Murinae,muscle anatomy,JAW MUSCLES,FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY,APODEMUS-SPECIOSUS,BITE FORCE,ADAPTATIONS,CHRYSOGASTER,PHYLOGENY,ECOLOGY,ANATOMY,MURIDAE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {380--397},
  title        = {Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12639},
  volume       = {231},
  year         = {2017},
}

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