JURASSIC DINOSAUR SKULL RECONSTRUCTED WITH CT SCANS AND 3D MODELING

3dprintingindustry.com | 2/12/2018 | Rushabh Haria
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Researchers from South Africa are walking with dinosaurs after recreating the facial skeleton of the Massospondylus carinatus (M. carinatus) dinosaur with CT scans and digital 3D modeling.

Kimberley E.J. Chapelle and Jonah N. Choiniere from the Evolutionary Studies Institute and School of Geosciences at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, have produced a 3D representation of the M. carinatus’ skull and brain-case.

Growth - Patterns - Appearance - Dinosaur - Data

This is to better understand the growth patterns and appearance of the dinosaur by comparing the scan data to other dinosaur models.

Massospondylus Carinatus on two feet. Image via Wikimedia.

Relationship - Technologies - Reconstruction - One - Printing

The relationship between 3D technologies and reconstruction is a strong one. 3D printing was used to reconstruct some of the bones of the famous blue whale at the Natural History Museum in London.

Additionally, a combination of genome data and 3D scanning/modeling technology was also used recently to reconstruct the Cheddar Man, the oldest complete skeleton ever to be found in Britain.

M - Carinatus - Dinosaur - Period - Years

The M. carinatus was a dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Period (over 200 million years ago) that lived on the land that now forms part of South Africa and Lesotho and was either herbivorous or omnivorous.

Despite its abundance, not as much is known about the appearance of the M. carinatus as is known about the better-known Plateosaurus or the Diplodocus, both of which are from the same sub-order.

Researchers - Reconstructions - Scans - Shape - Floor

According to the researchers, digital reconstructions of the scans enable the shape of the floor of the braincase to be explored in greater detail. Even though it is tentatively known that the M. carinatus’ brain case differs from other species, 3D models would make this more accessible.

To reconstruct the facial bones of the M. carinatus, a CT scan of the skull was first taken using a Nikon Metrology XTH 225/320 LC dual source industrial CT system. While several fossilized skulls exist of the M. carinatus,...
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