Evolutionary Biomaterials Group
tkleinteichFoto Thomas Kleinteich

2009, PhD in zoology at the Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum, Universität Hamburg, Germany (Thesis title: “The evolution of intrauterine feeding in the Gymnophiona (Lissamphibia): A comparative study on the morphology, function, and development of cranial muscles in oviparous and viviparous species”); 2005, Diploma in biology at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany (Thesis title: “Cranium und craniale Muskulatur larvaler Stadien von Ichthyophis kohtaoensis Taylor, 1960 (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona): Ein Beitrag zum Grundmuster der Lissamphibia”); 1999 – 2005, course of studies in biology at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany

Contact: phone: +49 431 8804509, e-mail: tkleinteich@zoologie.uni-kiel.de
Personal webpage: http://www.kleinteich.org


Scientific career:

since 2011, research associate (postdoc) in the Functional Morphology and Biomechanics group at the Chrsitian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany; 2009 – 2011, research associate (postdoc) at the Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington, Seattle, USA and at the Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum at the Universität Hamburg, Germany; 2008, research associate at the Institute for Materials Research at the Helmholtzzentrum Geesthacht, Germany


Stays abroad:

2009-2011, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, USA; 2007, University of California at Irvine and University of California at Berkeley, USA; 2007, Natural History Museum London, UK; 2005, University of California at Berkeley


Research interests:

Functional vertebrate morphology with a focus on the evolution and biomechanics of prey capture and adhesiveness in amphibians and fishes.

Anatomy and function of amphibian sticky tongues

Suction adhesion in fishes

Functional morphology of the skull in fossorial amphibians (caecilians)

Applications of X-ray micro-CT imaging and 3D modeling in zoology


  • Weihmann T, Kleinteich T, Gorb SN & Wipfler B. in press. Functional morphology of the mandibular apparatus in the cockroach Periplaneta americana (Blattodea: Blattidae) – a model species for omnivore insects. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny.

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2015. Frog tongue acts as muscle powered adhesive tape. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150333.

  • Brehm G, Fischer M, Gorb SN, Kleinteich T, Kühn B, Neubert D, Pohl H, Wipfler B & Wurdinger S. online early. The unique sound production of the Death’s head Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos (Linnaeus, 1758)) revisited. Science of Nature.

  • Di Canio G, Stoyanov S, Larsen JC, Hallam J, Kovalev A, Kleinteich T, Gorb SN, Manoonpong P. in press. A dung beetle-like leg and its adaptive neural control. Proceedings of Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics.

  • Kleinteich T. 2015. To have a frog in the throat: micro-CT imaging of anuran prey in Ceratophrys ornata (Anura: Ceratophryidae). Salamandra 51: 209 – 211.

  • Kleinteich T, Conway KW, Gorb SN & Summers AP. 2015. What’s inside a fishy suction cup? Microscopy & Analysis 17: S8 – S10.

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2014. Tongue adhesion in the horned frog Ceratophrys sp. Scientific Reports 4: 5225.

  • Haas A, Pohlmeyer J, McLeod DS, Kleinteich T, Hertwig ST, Das I, & Buchholz DR. online early. Extreme tadpoles II: the highly derived larval anatomy of Occidozyga baluensis (Boulenger, 1896), an obligate carnivorous tadpole. Zoomorphology.

  • Matsumura Y, Yoshizawa K, Machida R, Mashimo Y, Dallai R, Gottardo M, Kleinteich T, Michels J, Gorb SN & Beutel RG. 2014. Two separate intromittent organs in Zorotypus caudelli (Insecta, Zoraptera): a seemingly paradox coexistence of an extremely long and narrow tube and a large spermatophore. Biol J Linn Soc 112: 40-54.

  • Kleinteich T, Herzen J, Beckmann F, Matsui M & Haas A. 2014. Anatomy, function, and evolution of jaw and hyobranchial muscles in cryptobranchoid salamander larvae. J Morphol 275: 230-246.

  • Tramacere F, Kovalev A, Kleinteich T, Gorb SN & Mazzolai B. 2014. Structure and mechanical properties of Octopus vulgaris suckers. J R Soc Interface 11: 20130816.

  • Wainwright DK, Kleinteich T, Kleinteich A, Gorb SN & Summers AP. 2013. Stick tight: suction adhesion on irregular surfaces in the northern clingfish. Biol Lett 9: 20130234

  • Paig-Tran EWM, Kleinteich T & Summers AP. 2013. The filter pads and filtration mechanisms of the devil rays: variation at macro and microscopic scales. J Morphol 274: 1026 – 1043

  • van der Meijden A, Kleinteich T & Coelho P. 2012. Packing a pinch: functional implications of chela shapes in scorpions using finite element analysis. J Anat 220: 423 – 434.

  • Kleinteich T, Maddin HC, Herzen J, Beckmann F & Summers AP. 2012. Is solid always best? Cranial performance in solid and fenestrated caecilian skulls. J Exp Biol 215: 833–844.

  • Kühnel S, Herzen J, Kleinteich T, Beckmann F & Kupfer A. 2012. The female cloaca of an oviparous caecilian amphibian: functional and seasonal aspects. Acta Zool 93: 208 – 221.

  • Kleinteich T & Haas A. 2011. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution. J Morphol 272: 598 – 613 (cover).

  • Kleinteich T. 2010. Ontogenetic differences in the feeding biomechanics of oviparous and viviparous caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Zoology 113: 283 – 294.

  • Kleinteich T, Haas A & Summers AP. 2008. Caecilian jaw closing mechanics - integrating two muscle systems. J R Soc Interface 5: 1491 – 1504.

  • Kleinteich T, Gutsche A & Hallermann J. 2008. Micrurus corallinus (Painted Coral Snake). Diet. Herpetol Rev 39: 98.

  • Kleinteich T & Haas A. 2007. Cranial musculature in the larva of the caecilian, Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). J Morphol 268: 74 – 88.

  • Kleinteich T, Beckmann F, Herzen J, Summers AP, Haas, A. 2008. Applying X-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). In Developments in X-ray tomography VI. (Stock, SR ed.). Proc of SPIE: 7078D: 1-11.

Published Abstracts:

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2015. The diversity of sticky frog tongues. Bruker microCT User meeting 2015: 98 - 101.

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2015. Fast, wet, and sticky: the functional morphology of frog tongues. Talk. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in West Palm Beach, FL, USA. Integr Comp Biol 55: E97.

  • Kleinteich T, Conway KW, Gorb SN & Summers AP. 2014. What’s inside a fishy suction cup? Bruker microCT User meeting 2014: 80 – 84.

  • Kleinteich T, Conway KW & Summers AP. 2014. How do these fish suck? The anatomy and function of the clingfish suction disk. Talk (presented by APS). Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in Austin, TX, USA. Integr Comp Biol 54: E112.

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2013. Inside a frog’s sticky tongue. Bruker microCT User meeting 2013: 115 – 117.

  • Kleinteich T & Gorb SN. 2013. Stick with it: comparative morphology of frog tongues. Vortrag. International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) in Barcelona, Spanien. Anat Rec 296: 230.

  • Paig-Tran EWM, Kleinteich T & Summers AP. 2012. Exploring the filter morphology and filtration mechanics in Mobulidae. Poster. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in Charleston, NC, USA. Integr Comp Biol 52: E305.

  • Wainwright DK, Kleinteich T, Gorb SN, Kleinteich A & Summers AP. 2012. These dead fish really suck: adhesion performance of the Northern Clingfish. Vortrag. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in Charleston, NC, USA. Integr Comp Biol 52: E185.

  • Kleinteich T. 2010. The ontogeny of feeding systems in caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) – sucking, scraping, and biting. Integr Comp Biol 50: E91.

  • Kleinteich T. 2007. Cranial muscle morphology in caecilian (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) larvae, fetuses, and adults: the impact of feeding mode on muscle development. J Morphol 268: 1093.

  • Haas A & Kleinteich T. 2007. Homologies of larval amphibians and the evolution of the anuran tadpole. J Morphol 268: 1079.