Project 3481: K. Gruntmejer, D. Konietzko‐Meier, J. Marcé‐Nogué, A. Bodzioch, J. Fortuny. 2019. Cranial suture biomechanics in Metoposaurus krasiejowensis (Temnospondyli, Stereospondyli) from the upper Triassic of Poland. Journal of Morphology. 280 (12):1850-1864.
Specimen: † Metoposaurus krasiejowensis (Opole University, Institute of Biology, Laboratory of Palaeobiology:UOPB 00124)
View: STL 3D Model Skull


Cranial sutures connect adjacent bones of the skull and play an important role in the absorption of stresses that may occur during different activities. The Late Triassic temnospondyl amphibian Metoposaurus krasiejowensis has been extensively studied over the years in terms of skull biomechanics, but without a detailed description of the function of cranial sutures. In the present study, 34 thin sections of cranial sutures were examined in order to determine their histovariability and interpret their biomechanical role in the skull. The histological model was compared with three-dimensional-finite element analysis (FEA) simulations of the skull under bilateral and lateral biting as well as skull-raising loads for maximum and minimum principal stress. Histologically, only two sutural morphologies were recognised in the skull of Metoposaurus: interdigitated sutures (commonly associated with compressive stresses) are dominant along the entire length of the skull roof and palate; tongue-and-groove sutures (commonly associated with tensile stresses) are present across the maxilla. FEA shows a much more complex picture of stress type and distribution than predicted by sutures. Common to both methods is a predominance of compressive stresses which act on the skull during biting. The methods predict different stress regimes during biting in the posterior part of the skull: where histological analysis suggests compression, FEA predicts tension. For lateral biting and skull raising, histological and digital reconstructions show similar general patterns but with some variations

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Article DOI: 10.1002/jmor.21070

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3481,
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    Authors' Institutions

    • Opole University

    • Universitaet Hamburg (University of Hamburg)

    • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (University of Bonn)

    • Institut Catala de Paleontologia


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    Josep Fortuny
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