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mandibular arch[man′dib·yə·lər ′ärch]
a supporting element of the visceral skeleton in gnathostomatous vertebrates, including humans. The mandibular arch is situated directly in front of the sublingual arch. In the course of evolution, the mandibular arch differentiated into the primary upper jaw (palatoquadrate cartilage) and primary lower jaw (Meckel’s cartilage).