Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lizard Skulls!

Casey Holliday, a paleontologist and functional morphologist out at Marshall University, and Nick Gardner, an undergraduate at Marshall and owner of "why I hate theropods" (possibly my favorite title for a paleontology blog ever), have started posting a collection of virtual skulls.

These guys did a whole bunch of reconstructions of lizard skulls from CT scan data, and the recons are downloadable as 3D PDFs or VRML files. Check it out - it's a great way to get an appreciation for the diversity of cranial form in this group! And, look for more to come in the future.

Marshall University also has a nice article on the project.

Note: Keep an eye on Nick's blog in the coming days for more on the project.

5 comments:

Nick Gardner said...

Wow, surprised to see this get picked up faster than I could post on it. Obviously, viewers to the site should be aware that we aren't launching until the 12th, so some of the content is still missing or being worked on. :)

Cheers,
-Nick

casey said...

omg, the light speed nature of facebook self promotion strikes! The database is in beta. We'll have the .vmrl files up really soon, but it'll be awhile on the adobe 3d pdfs..dealing with space issues... This page was inspired in part by Leon Claessen's AVES-3D work too so, props Leon. Unfortunately, the software (WireFusion) that put the vmrls up is not open source as far as i know. And the .stls were made with Amira which i know is a dirty word 'round these parts. What will hopefully be cooler than simply spin-able skulls is that almost all of the lizards currently up have been serial-sectioned for histology of different joints and the adductor chamber. So we'll have microCT and serial histo data registered....one day. thanks Andy!

casey

Jordan said...

Someone here wants to see more herbivorous lizards... and it's me!

Andy said...

Nope, Amira isn't necessarily a dirty word - closed data file formats (thanks, Endnote) are. But, with STL's and VRML's, you're one a good roll! After all, it's not how you process your data. . .it's what you do with it.

Nick Gardner said...

I just wanted to share the new URL for the cranial anatomy 3D database.

http://web.missouri.edu/~hollidayca/3DAnatomy/lizard_symphyses.htm