Development of novel articulations: formation of the snake jaw
1st Supervisor: Dr Abigail Tucker
2nd Supervisor: Dr Karen Liu
Description of project
The evolution of the incredibly complex jaw apparatus of snakes allows many species to consume prey much larger than themselves. This study explores the development, structure and function of two lower jaw specialisations unique to most snake species, namely the free mandibular symphysis and the intramandibular hinge joint. This will be studied in the non-venomous corn snake (Elaphe Guttata).The aims of this project are as follows:
Describe the development and precise anatomy of the intramandibular hinge and free symphysis in the corn snake.
Compare and contrast the stages of corn snake craniofacial development to another non-mammalian vertebrate species – the chick.
Investigate potential mechanisms in the formation of the intramandibular hinge.
Duration of project: 3 years
Contact for further information
Dr Abigail Tucker
Research Topic: Craniofacial Development & Stem Cell Biology
References relating to the project
Buchtova, M., Handrigan, G.R., Tucker, A.S., Scott, L., Town, L., Fu, K., Diewert, V.M., Wicking, C., Richman, J.M. (2008) Initiation and patterning of the snake dental lamina are dependent on Sonic Hedgehog signalling. Dev. Biol. 319: 132-145.
Zahradnicek, O., Horacek, I., Tucker, A.S. (2008) Viperous fangs: molecular evidence for the infolding theory of venom-canal development. Mech. Dev. 125, 786-796.
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