Bump or pore?

I’ve been keeping myself busy recently. I’ll be giving an oral presentation at the annual staphylinid conference in May so a lot of effort is going into preparation. The conference will be in Copenhagen and this will be my first time in Europe, which I am really excited about. Good beer, good company, I’m looking forward to the event.

Today I made some illustrtions of mandibles (among other structures) for my talk and noticed very large circular outlines on the mandibular surface – they were rather peculiar looking. Initially, I thought they were very conspicuous pores, since small pores are common on mandibular surfaces. With a more careful look, I convinced myself that they were small protuberances or bumps of a sort. By now I was loosing more and more faith in my interperatations.

I asked some other students in the lab (this was at like midnight) their opinions;  man was I wrong and thinking other opinions were going to be helpful, more confusing was more like it.

“Bump or pore”, we laughed at its potential as an oral exam question. The students I asked were just as reluctant to pick bump or pore. I ended up picking option pore but I threw a few bumps in there too. I’ll have to explain my uncertainty…

BTW, molar regions, really difficult to draw accurately. You really need to take an SEM for detailed structural representation.


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