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The Florida State University Coastal & Marine Lab Conservation Lecture
April 7, 2016
Thursday, April 14th, 2016, 7 pm
FSUCML Auditorium, Reception follows the presentation
The Truth Behind the Bite:
Unlocking the Secrets to Crocodilian Feeding Success
Dr. Greg Erickson
Crocodilians — alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials — have been dominant predators at the water’s edge for over 85 million years. What contributes to their success? According to Dr. Gregory Erickson and his colleagues, it is the relationship between bite force and tooth pressure. Imagine an animal that exerts a 3,700-pound bite force with tooth pressures of 350,000 pounds per square inch — the highest values known for any living animals, making humans — with bite forces of 150-200 pounds, pale in comparison. Dr. Erickson’s team made these recordings on several 17-foot saltwater crocodiles in Australia and have made similar measures on all 23 living crocodilian species. They also discovered how such forces are generated and the relationships between bite force, body size, and diet. In his talk, Dr. Erickson will share some of these research findings, including how this work relates to predicting biomechanical performance in dinosaurs, T-rex among them.