Jaw-muscle activity in ferrets, Mustela putorius furo

J Morphol. 1992 Aug;213(2):275-86. doi: 10.1002/jmor.1052130211.


Electromyographical (EMG) activity was recorded bilaterally from the masseter and temporalis muscles of alert ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) during mastication and crushing. Electromyographic activity was also recorded during biting while a bite-force transducer placed between the carnassial teeth registered forces ranging from 1.5 to 48.8 N. Linear regression analysis demonstrates that temporalis and masseter EMG activity are linearly related to bite force. Electromyographic activity from the balancing-side muscles is nearly equal to EMG activity of the working-side muscles during bone crushing with the carnassial teeth. It is hypothesized that a high percentage of balancing-side muscle activity in ferrets can be recruited during carnassial biting because the postglenoid process prevents ventral displacement of the working-side mandibular condyle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bite Force
  • Dogs
  • Electromyography
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Ferrets / anatomy & histology
  • Ferrets / physiology*
  • Jaw / anatomy & histology
  • Jaw / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mandibular Condyle / anatomy & histology
  • Mandibular Condyle / physiology
  • Masseter Muscle / physiology
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Temporal Muscle / physiology