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I've noticed that a lot of carnivorous/omnivorous mammals (most, if not all the members of carnivora and some ancestral cetaceans), as well as some herbivores (marsupials), have incomplete orbits that merge into the temple near the zygomatic arch. I'm wondering what the evolutionary purpose of this is, as well as why we would lack them.

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    $\begingroup$ not some, most mammals have incomplete orbits. only a few groups have closed it. It seems to be related to the position of the temporal fossa. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15844100 the whole region varies quite a lot in mammals ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18211281 $\endgroup$ – John Apr 13 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Some things to think about are the size of the field of view, the protection of the eye, and the normal orientation of the head. $\endgroup$ – Polypipe Wrangler Apr 15 at 0:53

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