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Temporal Arches

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Well, the temporal arch is mostly for two purposes. One, to lighten the skull. But mostly, it served to give an anchor point for muscles that allowed the muscles to bulge outward more when contracted.


It can give us a general idea of how much jaw power an animal had, but not a very good one, since other muscles can be increased in size if other factors shrink the temporal arches. For instance, crocs have very small temporal arches, but have immense jaw closing pressure due to several other muscles.


In general, it's a bad idea to try to extrapolate lifestyle and advantages very a single anatomical characteristic. The use for taxonomy is that the temporal arch preserves well, and probably correlates with other evolutionary innovations that have allowed diapsids to suceed.



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