Special lecture in Paleontology on 10.6.

Björn Kurtén – club is proud to host yet another special lecture!

We have the pleasure to have Dr. Philip Anderson from University of Bristol, UK present his work on:

Early vertebrate teeth, jaw mechanics and feeding diversity

The talk will take place on the 10th June (10.6.) at 15.30, in the Kumpula Campus, the Department of Geosciences and Geography, Physicum building, room C108.

after the talk there is some time for discussions and questions.

Everybody warmly Welcome!


Philip Anderson is an evolutionary palaeobiologist focusing on the biomechanics and
functional morphology of fossil gnathostomes.  He uses a multidisciplinary approach to
explore the relationship between morphology and mechanical function and how this
relationship affects measures of diversity through the fossil record.   At the organismal
level, he has created models of jaw function for a group of basal fishes (placoderms)
developed using basic engineering theory.  These models have illustrated functional
convergence across clades and illustrate the potential for biomechanical analyses to give
insights into early jaw evolution.  He also uses physical experiments to explore how
aspects of dental shape affect fracture in food items.  This work has illustrated how
basic tooth characters, identifiable across gnathostomes, can greatly influence the
ability to break down food at a lower energy cost.  Finally, building off of the
experimental and modeling work, he has explored functional diversity amongst Devonian
gnathostomes utilizing biomechanical jaw characters. These analyses present different
results from standard morphological shape data, and give new insights into the disparity
of early gnathstomes at both the faunal and stage level.  He is currently at the
University of Bristol as a Marie-Curie research fellow.

Key references:

Anderson, P. S. L., 2010. “Using linkage models to explore skull kinematic diversity and
functional convergence in arthrodire placoderms.” Journal of Morphology (Early View

Anderson, P. S. L., 2009b. “The effects of trapping and blade angle on how notched
dentitions fracture biological tissues.” Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 3627-3632.

Anderson, P. S. L., 2009a. “Biomechanics, functional patterns, and disparity in Late
Devonian arthrodires.” Paleobiology 35(3): 321-342.

Anderson, P. S. L., and LaBarbera, M., 2008. “Functional consequences of tooth design:
effects of blade shape on energetics of cutting.” Journal of Experimental Biology 211:

Anderson, P. S. L., 2008.  “Shape variation between arthrodire morphotypes indicates
possible feeding niches.”  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(4): 961-969.

Jussi Eronen