Wombats and koalas are the only survivors of an extensive radiation of mostly terrestrial vombatiforms dating back to the late Oligocene. Wombats and koalas are respectively highly specialised grazers and browsers, and thus widely used in eco-morphological studies on the functional adaptation of the skull to specialised herbivory. However, few of these studies reveal how feeding affects affects skull shape. The aim of this project is to study the biomechanics of the wombat and koala mandible (lower jaw) during feeding using computer simulations and in vivo experiments.
wombats, koalas, diet, feeding behaviour, skull biomechanics, anatomy
Top-up scholarship funding available
Biomedicine Discovery Institute