Skip to Main Content
Table 4.
Example of a student group's hypothesis and prediction (for more examples, see  Appendix 1).
Hypothesis Carnivores and omnivores eat tough meat and nuts, and so require more biting force for consumption than do herbivores that eat grass. 
Prediction To avoid fracturing under large biting forces, carnivores and omnivores will have a thicker lower jaw bone than grass-eating herbivores. 
Measure Measure right and left jaw widths under the first tooth, and calculate the average for each specimen. If available, choose at least 3 specimens for each species, and use at least 3 species per diet type. Also, choose species that are not closely related; this will make it more likely a difference in jaw width will reflect adaptation to diet rather than phylogenic relationships (see  Appendix 3 for a discussion of phylogenetic inertia). 
Analysis After removing the effect of body size, test for differences in jaw widths between the two groups. 
Hypothesis Carnivores and omnivores eat tough meat and nuts, and so require more biting force for consumption than do herbivores that eat grass. 
Prediction To avoid fracturing under large biting forces, carnivores and omnivores will have a thicker lower jaw bone than grass-eating herbivores. 
Measure Measure right and left jaw widths under the first tooth, and calculate the average for each specimen. If available, choose at least 3 specimens for each species, and use at least 3 species per diet type. Also, choose species that are not closely related; this will make it more likely a difference in jaw width will reflect adaptation to diet rather than phylogenic relationships (see  Appendix 3 for a discussion of phylogenetic inertia). 
Analysis After removing the effect of body size, test for differences in jaw widths between the two groups. 
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal