Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Movements of the Lower Jaw of Cattle during Mastication


AMONG the biological phenomena exhibiting a definite sense of rotation, as, for example, the growth certain creepers and of the shells of snails, one that does not seem to have been studied and to which we wish to direct attention here, is the masticating motion cattle. Close investigation shows that the lower jaw of the animal is displaced with respect to the upper jaw, not in a purely horizontal or a purely vertical direction, but simultaneously in both directions with such a phase difference that a clearly evident rotation results. Theoretically this can, of course, take place in two senses, and observation teaches that both possibilities are realised in Nature. Taking the direction of the food as positive, we shall denote as right- and left-circular cows those of which the chewing motion, viewed from the front, turns clockwise and counterclockwise respectively.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

JORDAN, P., KRONIG, R. Movements of the Lower Jaw of Cattle during Mastication. Nature 120, 807 (1927).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing