Phillip D. Clausen

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The predatory ecology of Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) has been a subject of long-standing interest and considerable conjecture. Here, we investigate the roles and potential interplay between cranial mechanics, toxic bacteria, and venom. Our analyses point to the presence of a sophisticated combined-arsenal killing apparatus. We find that the(More)
BACKGROUND Crocodilians exhibit a spectrum of rostral shape from long snouted (longirostrine), through to short snouted (brevirostrine) morphologies. The proportional length of the mandibular symphysis correlates consistently with rostral shape, forming as much as 50% of the mandible's length in longirostrine forms, but 10% in brevirostrine crocodilians.(More)
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computational technique of growing popularity in the field of comparative biomechanics, and is an easily accessible platform for form-function analyses of biological structures. However, its rapid evolution in recent years from a novel approach to common practice demands some scrutiny in regards to the validity of results(More)
Skull structure is intimately associated with feeding ability in vertebrates, both in terms of specific performance measures and general ecological characteristics. This study quantitatively assessed variation in the shape of the cranium and mandible in varanoid lizards, and its relationship to structural performance (von Mises strain) and interspecific(More)
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