Open Wide!

Behold – the Dagwood sandwich! Thirty layers of perfectly crafted deliciousness! Open wide!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying wouldn’t it be nice to bite into a Dagwood sandwich and nab every single one of those ingredients? Unfortunately most of us don’t have mouths that big. But why not?!

Jack Tseng and colleagues at the University at Buffalo wondered. Using a 3-D printer, they replicated the jaw structure of forty species of carnivores.

Past studies have shown differences in jaw structure based on an animal’s diet. But Tseng found something surprising! Jaw structure differed more based on the animal’s SIZE — not what it eats. The larger the animal, the bigger and stronger the jaw.

These findings improve our understanding of human jaw structure and purpose. These could lead to better jaw pain management.

If only they could figure out how to keep Dagwood from putting so many fillings on that sandwich!