A 3D interactive model and atlas of the jaw musculature of Alligator mississippiensis

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 7;8(6):e62806. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062806. Print 2013.


Modern imaging and dissemination methods enable morphologists to share complex, three-dimensional (3D) data in ways not previously possible. Here we present a 3D interactive model of the jaw musculature of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Alligator and crocodylian jaw musculature is notoriously challenging to inspect and interpret because of the derived nature of the feeding apparatus. Using Iodine-contrast enhanced microCT imaging, a segmented model of jaw muscles, trigeminal nerve, brain and skull are presented as a cross-sectional atlas and 3D, interactive pdf of the rendered model. Modern 3D dissemination methods like this 3D Alligator hold great potential for morphologists to share anatomical information to scientists, educators, and the public in an easily downloadable format.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alligators and Crocodiles / anatomy & histology*
  • Animals
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Jaw / anatomy & histology*
  • Jaw / diagnostic imaging
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscles / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull / anatomy & histology
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trigeminal Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Trigeminal Nerve / diagnostic imaging

Grant support

This study was funded by the University of Missouri Research Council (http://research.missouri.edu/internal/researchcouncil), University of Missouri School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences (http://pathology-anatomy.missouri.edu/). HPT and IDG were funded by the MU Life Sciences Fellowships (http://bondlsc.missouri.edu/fellowships). RJS was funded by the MU-HHMI C3 Fellowship (http://hhmi.missouri.edu/). No current external funding sources funded this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.