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Showing 3 posts tagged scanner

In 1999, near the Cape Verde Islands, “an unusually large Caulophryne pelagica [anglerfish] was captured in perfect condition, due perhaps to a lethargy induced by a prodigious meal which had expanded the stomach in excess of the standard length.” Not long after, the rare, deep-sea specimen was a part of the Natural History Museum's collection in London.

Only 17 examples of the hairy anglerfish have been discovered thus far, and this was the largest, so scientists were reluctant to cut it open for examination. However, a 3D scan of the fish could easily reveal its huge last meal.

Related watching: The Brilliance of Bioluminescence, skeletons, and more fish.

There’s a cliff wall full of 70 million year old dinosaur footprints in Spain’s Pyrenees mountains, just a 1.5 hour drive north from Barcelona. In this episode of Jurassic CSI, Walk Like a Dinosaur, Dr. Phil Manning, head of Paleontology Research Group at University of Manchester, joins paleontologists from The Catalan Institute of Paleontology as they climb down the former mud plain to measure the extremely fragile footprints by hand. They also use long range LiDAR 3D scanning to capture the rock face and later calculate the animals’ dimensions, how fast they might have walked, and more.

Here’s a Catalan News Agency video for more info, some Jurassic CSI Facts, and in the archives: more dinosaur vids, including 3D scanning and Printing Dinosaurs.

File under laser scanners, 3D printers and dinosaur bones… not so surprisingly a great combination, as introduced by Dr. Kenneth Lacovara of Drexel University:

"For years and years, vertebrate paleontologists have really been confined to working with the shapes, with the morphology, of bones and with skeletons, as you can see behind me here. And our hypotheses about how these ancient animals lived and moved was based on how we could put these bones together in the physical world.

"And now for the first time in the history of paleontology, we’re able to move beyond those methods and into this virtual landscape where we can test our biomechanical hypotheses in rigorous ways that were never possible before."

In February 2012, Dr. Lacovara’s paleontology department teamed up with the University’s engineering department to scan their fossils to make 3D models that could be made into fully working arms and legs. Wrap some engineered muscles around those… add more parts… and perhaps we’ve got the most accurate robot dinosaur ever made!

To read more, check out Printing dinosaurs: the mad science of new paleontology, from The Verge, July 2012.