Trabecular ontogeny of the mandibular condyle in callitrichids


Trabecular ontogeny of the mandibular condyle in callitrichids


Siegel N D; Vinyard C J


American Journal of Physical Anthropology




Several bony and soft tissue structures of the callitrichid masticatory apparatus have been studied to understand how gouging behavior in marmosets is facilitated by specific morphologies. While marmoset craniofacial anatomy indicates features that likely enable relatively wider gapes compared to non-gouging tamarins, these studies have largely failed to demonstrate morphologies that assist in generating or resisting relatively large bite forces. A previous comparison of condylar trabeculae between adult gouging and non-gouging platyrrhines found that marmoset condylar trabeculae may be less robust than non-gougers. We extend this work by comparing the ontogeny of condylar trabecular morphology in gouging marmosets versus non-gouging tamarins.

We collected µCT images of the mandibular condyles of 13 adult and 7 neonatal common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) and 9 adult and 6 neonatal cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) at a voxel resolution of 20.5 µm. We processed the entire condylar trabecular volume in Avizo 8.0 and measured several trabecular metrics in BoneJ. We compared trabecular features across ontogeny and between species.

We found that C. jacchus undergoes a marked decrease in bone volume fraction during ontogeny, while S. oedipus experiences a slight increase. Both species lose connectivity with age; C. jacchus more markedly than S. oedipus. While trabeculae in both species are more spaced in adults, this change is more marked in C. jacchus. Collectively, we see little evidence in marmosets for age-related increases in load-resistance abilities in the condylar trabeculae further supporting the argument that marmosets are not adapted for generating relatively large bite forces during gouging.

NSF BCS-0959438, BCS-0412153


Anthropology; Evolutionary Biology




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Siegel N D; Vinyard C J, “Trabecular ontogeny of the mandibular condyle in callitrichids,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed January 26, 2021,

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