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Development, Structure, and Function of the Zygomatic Bones: What is New and Why Do We Care?

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This issue of The Anatomical Record is the first of a two‐volume set on the zygoma (also called the cheek bone, the zygomatic bone, the malar, or the jugal, the latter term being used in vertebrates other than mammals). The zygoma is an important component of the craniofacial skeleton, in which the zygoma is a connection between the midfacial and the cranial skeletons; has a functional role as the origin of one of the masticatory muscles, the masseter muscle, and several facial muscles; has been considered as an essential buttress of the facial skeleton for resisting masticatory forces; and has importance for determining phylogenetic relationships. In humans, the zygoma is also of aesthetic significance for facial appearance, and its restoration following trauma has resulted in a large clinical literature. In this first volume of this Special Issue, a wide ranging series of papers discuss studies related to issues of development, structure, and function of the zygoma and closely related parts of the craniofacial skeleton in mammals, and in particular primates. This Introductory article provides an overview in which we discuss the primary findings of these studies and some of their implications. The second volume, which will be published as the January 2017 issue of The Anatomical Record, will focus on variation and evolution of the zygoma throughout the vertebrates. Anat Rec, 299:1611–1615, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Keywords: adaptation; anatomy; biomechanics; craniofacial bones; evolution; jugal; midface

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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