Supplementary Material for: Development and Three-Dimensional Morphology of the Zygomaticotemporal Suture in Primate Skulls

posted on 30.01.2014 by Curtis N., Witzel U., Fagan M.J.
Cranial sutures are an essential part of the growing skull, allowing bones to increase in size during growth, with their morphology widely believed to be dictated by the forces and displacements that they experience. The zygomaticotemporal suture in primates is located in the relatively weak zygomatic arch, and externally it appears a very simple connection. However, large forces are almost certainly transmitted across this suture, suggesting that it requires some level of stability while also allowing controlled movements under high loading. Here we examine the 2- and 3-dimensional (3D) morphology of the zygomaticotemporal suture in an ontogenetic series of Macaca fascicularis skulls. High resolution microcomputed tomography data sets were examined, and virtual and physical 3D replicas were created to assess both structure and general stability. The zygomaticotemporal suture is much more complex than its external appearance suggests, with interlocking facets between the adjacent zygomatic and temporal bones. It appears as if some movement is permitted across the suture in younger animals, but as they approach adulthood the complexity of the suture's interlocking bone facets reaches a level where these movements become minimal.