Cephalopod diet and feeding systems remain enigmatic. They have a ‘beak’ composed of two jaws with no direct contact, a radula, and specialised masticatory muscles. This project will bring together for the first-time expertise in cephalopod biology and biomechanics to quantitatively characterize the anatomy and function of the feeding system in different species representing all cephalopod families. A range of techniques based on material characterization and computational modelling will be used to test 4 hypotheses, with main focus on  material content and mechanical properties of the jaws to correlate these with their bite force and diet;  shape and surface properties of cephalopod jaws and its potential correlation with their diet;  muscular jaw articulation of cephalopods and the mechanisms that control its motion considering a range of diet;  impact of overall jaw and muscular joint morphology on the level of mechanical strain across each component. A major part of cephalopod biology will be unravelled in this project, providing new foundations for cephalopod conservation and other areas such as bioinspired soft robotics.
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