Friday, April 4, 2014

Chasing after the chase

At first I was disappointed when I read that scientists had digitally reconstructed a dinosaur chase, but the video (HERE) did not show the animation of a theropod and a sauropod in motion. Then I realized the beauty of what this team of biologists have done. A famous set of dinosaur tracks in Texas called the Paluxy River tracks no longer exist. They were excavated 70 years ago by American paleontologist Roland Bird who removed them from their original location, divided them into blocks, and parceled them out to colleagues around the world. Realizing that much information could be gained from viewing the tracks in one piece again, Peter Falkingham of the Royal Veterinary College, London, and his team referred to Bird's original documentation to recreate the 147' (45 m) long site. They scanned the 17 existing photos (EXAMPLES ABOVE), referred to notes left by Bird, and correlated it all to maps drawn at the time of the original excavation. Falkingham comments, "In recent years technology has advanced to the point where highly accurate 3D models can be produced easily and at very little cost just from digital photos, and this has been revolutionizing many different fields. That we can apply that technology to specimens, or even entire sites, that no longer exist but were recorded photographically is extremely exciting."

Hi Chase!

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