Feeding, Function and Fossils: Why Mammal Skulls Are My BFFs
Matthew J. Ravosa, Professor of Biological Sciences
Among animals with backbones, mammals are noteworthy for placing a greater emphasis on the oral processing of their highly variable diets. This imparts a distinctive signature on the skull, teeth and jaws which can be used to unravel the dietary and feeding behaviors of extinct mammals. To this end, recent and ongoing experimental research in the Ravosa lab will be discussed regarding the development, function and evolution of the mammalian skull and feeding apparatus, focusing in particular on how such work can illuminate our understanding of fossil remains.