Single-element and/or rosette strain gages were bonded to mandibular cortical bone in Galago crassicaudatus and Macaca fascicularis. Five galago and eleven macaque bone strain experiments were performed and analyzed. In vivo bone strain was recorded from the lateral surface of the mandibular corpus below the postcanine tooth row during transducer biting and during mastication and ingestion of food objects.
In macaques and galagos, the mandibular corpus on the balancing side is primarily bent in the sagittal plane during mastication and is both twisted about its long axis and bent in the sagittal plane during transducer biting. On the working side, it is primarily twisted about its long axis and directly sheared perpendicular to its long axis, and portions of it are bent in the sagittal plane during mastication and molar transducer biting. In macaques, the mandibular corpus on each side is primarily bent in the sagittal plane and twisted during incisal transducer biting and ingestion of food objects, and it is transversely bent and slightly twisted during jaw opening. Since galagos usually refused to bite the transducer or food objects with their incisors, an adequate characterization of mandibular stress patterns during these behaviors was not possible. In galagos the mandibular corpus experiences very little transverse bending stress during jaw opening, perhaps in part due to its unfused mandibular symphysis.
Marked differences in the patterns of mandibular bone strain were present between galagos and macaques during the masticatory power stroke and during transducer biting. Galagos consistently had much more strain on the working side of the mandibular corpus than on the balancing side. These experiments support the hypothesis that galagos, in contrast to macaques, employ a larger amount of working-side muscle force relative to the balancing-side muscle force during unilateral biting and mastication, and that the fused mandibular symphysis is an adaption to use a maximal amount of balancing-side muscle force during unilateral biting and mastication.
These experiments also demonstrate the effects that rosette position, bite force magnitudes, and types of food eaten have on recorded mandibular strain patterns.