Betsy Dumont, Curator of Mammals, with graduate student Andrew John Conith and colleagues, used 3-D printed replicas of fossil teeth of early shrew-like mammals to analyze likely damage to prey as well as bite force and work required. Research has ignored the damage until now but this work shows that the significant difference in damage inflicted by reconstructions of molars of two species, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium, cannot be overlooked as an evolutionary factor. The molars were created by a 3-D printer and the bite applied to insect stand-ins made of polymer gels with an exoskeleton-like crust. This research as recently published in the British Royal Society journal, Interface. Read more here.
Dumont and colleagues use 3-D to analyze fossil bites
Dec 06, 2016