The study of comparative anatomy often comes with the need to appreciation the physiological functions of the anatomical structures that we our examining. In doing so, we can better understand how variations in anatomical form determine function for chordates. This week, you have reviewed adaptations & similarities in the muscular system of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals.
I have included a comparative illustration of three mammalian species below (dog, human, and horse). Note that the temporalis and masseter muscles have been identified in each of the illustrations. The temporalis and masseter muscles perform an important role in the chewing (mastication) process of mammals. These muscles not only help with ripping and tearing of food, but they also help with the grinding process at the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint).
Task: Observe the size and shape of the temporalis and masseter muscles of the mammalian species illustrated below. Hypothesize why the size, shape, and attachment sites differ between the animals. How do these adaptations assist with the chewing process of each animal? Then, provide supporting evidence to support your hypothesis using 2-3 scholarly resources.
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Length: 1-2 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced