Dr. Ricardo Godinho, ICArEHB researcher, just published a new collaborative paper in Journal of Human Evolution on "The biting performance of Homo sapiens and Homo heidelbergensis".
The study compares crania of Homo heidelbergensis and H. sapiens with respect to mechanical advantages of masticatory muscles, force production efficiency, strains experienced by the cranium and modes of deformation during simulated biting. The authors used X-ray computed tomography (CT) 3D models of a recent modern human and two H. heidelbergensis. Results confirm that the modern human masticatory system is more efficient at converting muscle forces into bite forces and, thus, it can produce higher bite forces than for equal muscle input forces.
The full version of the article can be found here.