STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 May 2011

Retro to Tuesday

Blogspot wasn't working well for me yesterday, so here's yesterday's entry:

As everyone well knows, I find a lot of articles on newsday about skulls and teeth. Partly this is due to the extensive studying of these areas of paleontology, partly it's because that's what gets uploaded online, and partly because skull anatomy and dentition are pretty interesting subjects when discussing evolution and the purpose a species or genus served in the world in which it lived. To that end, I have found three articles, though not specifically about a Gorgonops species, that are about the skull and dentition of gorgonopsids and one that focuses more on the maxilla and its evolution in mammals.

The first article is on functional morphology of the skull (which we can agree by past articles is one of my favorite paleontology subjects). It is found on Oxford's page ( and may not last, so you may want to download the PDF and read it later; it's over 80 pages. Written by T.S. Kemp, then of Cambridge, in 1968 (he's a professor of zoology at Oxford now) this paper covers the entire skull above and below and describes in great detail the skull, brain, and jaw structures of gorgonopsids. It's the kind of thing I love to read.

The second ( and third ( articles are on tooth structure in mammal-like reptiles and the evolution of mammalian jaw, respectively. After reading all three of these you will probably be able to label your own skull if you needed to! Many more entries exist for the Gorgonops genus and the Gorgonopsid family, but these three are all I'm going to highlight for today.

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