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Festooning crocodiles! (was Re: Rex's cloaca, Hypsi's tail, Neo's nose and Bary's jaw!)
In response to Michael Lovejoy's query, I wrote;
> In this context, festooning describes a jaw line that is not straight in
> dorso-ventral plane. Think of the jaws of a large Nile or salt water
> crocodile, seen from side on - there is a wave-line to the jaw which
> exaggerates the pseudo-heterdont (or anisodont, whichever term you prefer)
> appearance of the teeth. I think the term was first applied to crocs by
> Iordansky, but I'll have to check.
I've just checked Iordansky, and if he used the term, I've missed it twice
now. He does talk about the 'undulating' margin of the jaws, though. I've
just skim read most of the references I have on croc skulls, and haven't
found mention of the word. I will re-read them all more thoroughly
tomorrow - it's nagging me now - but in case anyone else knows off the top
of their head, and feels like saving me a few hours of my life, who first
(or ever) used this term with reference to crocs? I'm sure I'm not making
The trouble a failing memory get you in to........
> Note that not all crocs have festooned jaws - longirostrine taxa, such as
> _Gavialis_, _Tomistoma_, _Crocodylus cataphractus_, and _C. johnstoni_
> a straight jawline. They also have a homodont (isodont) dentition -
> a farily strong correlation of festooning to anisodonty in crocodiles.
> The reason I was asking about _Baryonyx_ and _Spinosaurus_ was because I
> understand that they have festooned jawlines but homodont dentition. I
> a feeling that the assertions of piscivory in these animals were to do
> the fact they have festooned jaws (but no-one has commented on this).
> Lastly, from my dictionary (Collins):
> Festoon: n. 1. a decorative chain of flowers, ribbons, etc., suspended in
> loops; garland. 2. a carved or painted representation of this, as in
> architecture, furniture, or pottery. 3. a. the scalloped appearance of
> gums where they meet the teeth. b. a design carved on the base material
> a denture to simulate this......