Tag Archives: animals

3D Scanners In Archaeology

3d scanners are relatively new technology. Only the advent of the laser and computers has allowed for the transfer of all details about an object into a computer, and possibly the manipulation of these items with computer aided drawing (CAD) software or similar software. 3d scanners have a huge variety of uses, but perhaps the best use is for reverse engineering and cultural purposes.

Such devices have been used by archaeologists since the invention of the technology. This application is excellent for the purpose of finding hidden details in an artifact or piece of artwork that are too small for the eye to detect it. Also, as the technology typically uses lasers or sound waves for the purposes of scanning the object, it is minimally invasive. For example, a scientist or historian may want to know more about the content of an oil painting and the chemical properties of the paint. He or she could take a small chip of paint out of the painting, but if the painting is historic enough, that likely would not be allowed. However, oil paint is very well known for accumulating in large bumps, with a lot of texture. A 3d scan of the painting could likely give enough information about the structure of the painting to figure out the contents of the paint.

There are a number of famous examples of the use of 3d scanners in archaeology. Perhaps the earliest is two different groups of researchers who were able to scan Michelangelo’s famous statue David in 1999. Both of these groups used scans at a resolution of .25 mm, which accumulated a huge amount of data, detailed enough to see the chisel marks. These data were able to tell the researchers a large amount about how the statue was made, what tools Michelangelo had to work with, and other important archaeological information. Today, most famous works of art have been subject to the same treatment. And best of all, it is completely noninvasive.

Share This

Act now to help the endangered animals

There are millions of creatures, large and small that grace this planet and share the land with us. Some are well-known and common while others are a bit stranger and less common and are even considered animals endangered. Here are several freaky weird animals that are on the verge of extinction but deserve just as much help and attention in bouncing back as any other of their cuter and cuddlier counterparts:

Long-beaked echidna

1) The Echidna. This small mammal has a few odd characteristics. First of all, it has spiky quills over it’s body sort of like a porcupine and it is one of only two mammals in the world that lays eggs. Because it has no teeth and is also shy with a good temperament, this makes the Echnida as easy target for bigger animals to feast on. Combine this with the deteriorating environment that it calls home and you have an animal that is highly in danger of becoming extinct.

Olms in Postojna Cave, Slovenia

2) The Olm. This amphibian which is native to Italy and Croatia that has some strange quirks that help it in some circumstances but also make it easy prey. First of all, this creature is blind and, unlike other amphibians, it lives in the water. These two things make it easy for larger fish other creatures to sneak up on it in the water. If the Olm is lucky, it can live up to one hundred years but not many make it to that ripe old age.

Duck-billed platypus

3) The Duck-billed Platypus. Although this creature is venomous and is able to fend off potential enemies in the animal kingdom, it’s survival tactic is no match for human poachers who wanted it’s fur and who have hunted it to near extinction. It is the only other mammal that lays eggs, the other one is on the list of near-extinct animals too.

Of course, this is just a small sampling of the animals that are in danger of being wiped off this planet all-together. There are literally thousands more spread out all over the world. We must act together to protect these animals because they are a natural part of the whole system that keeps life going the way it should on this planet. Every time an animal goes extinct, it effects the whole system and one of these, we may find ourselves on this lengthy list.

Share This

Scientifically Authenticated Dinosaur Model Kits Now Online

Guest Post

For the Dinosaur connoisseur and collector, you will find what you have been looking for at Dinosaur Model Toys.com. The creator of all the works featured on this site is not only a gifted sculptor, but actually works with dinosaur fossils as a paleontological reconstruction artist, fossil preparator, and field technician at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. His artwork is based on the latest scientific research, real fossil material, and years of hands on experience. This is why the work featured is regarded as some of the most scientifically accurate available to the public.

The new Dinosaur Galleries at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles will feature many of the artist’s creations. Most notable is the baby Tyrannosaurus rex estimated to have been two years old when it died, for which nearly ninety percent of the skeleton will be recreated for this mount. This sculpted reconstruction will be featured with two real T-rex specimens, one a six-year old, and the other the sub adult specimen named “Thomas” which Doyle Trankina helped collect, and prepare. Thomas is estimated to be about seventy percent complete, making it one of the top five most complete in the world. Our initial offering will be a series of cast resin models and limited edition bronze sculptures with both a highly detailed exterior view, and a rendition of the internal skeletal anatomy of an adolescent T-rex similar to the Thomas find.

As part of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Doyle Trankina has attended several field excavations in Montana, Utah, and the Mojave. While in the field Doyle prospected, and assisted in the collection of several specimens, most notably Thomas the sub adult Tyrannosaurus rex that will be gracing the museum’s new Dinosaur Gallery in 2011. Through his experiences with the museum with his private obsession with prehistoric life and the natural world, Doyle has produced several sculptures and illustrations for exhibition and publication. Doyle has an extensive list of sculptures to produce over the next two years. His work will require lots of observational study from the museum’s collection, and extensive extrapolation based on the latest research, and modern analogues like birds, and crocodiles.

After completing the preparation of Thomas, Doyle embarked on a half skeletal, half flesh reconstruction of an adolescent Tyrannosaurus rex at 1;24th scale. The detail and fidelity to the skeleton was accomplished by long study of the anatomy from several existing mounts, scientific publications, and photographs from the some of the best Tyrannosaurus specimens. The teeth were surfaced to provide the accurate thickness and semblance to where the tinny serrations would have lined the many teeth. Because the position of the serrations actually change on the teeth as they move back towards the throat, the ridge implies the appropriate location of the serrations. The scales were carved individually so that the skin wraps around the form in a realistic, and accurate way.

Doyle is currently working on a skeletal reconstruction of a baby Tyrannosaurus rex which will be mounted in the new Dinosaur Galleries with Thomas and an intermediate specimen as an illustration of age progression. The actual specimen is only known from a skull fragment from the snout of what is believed to be from a two-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex. There are no post cranial remains, and there are only a handful of examples that are believed to be that of baby dinosaurs. This project has just begun, and with Dr. Chiappe Doyle will be making history in presenting the worlds only mounted baby Tyrannosaurus rex specimen.

Fall of 2009 marked one of the biggest Paleontology news splashes, featuring N. America’s smallest dinosaur, Fruitadens haagarorum. Nearly 150 million year old, the tiny Fruitadens would have shared its life with such titanic beasts as Brachiosaursus, and Allosaurus in the late Jurassic. It is thought that the animal might have weighed as little as two pounds and measured only 28 inches in length. Fruitadens was discovered in Colorado in the late 1970s in a geological formation known as the Morrison, more specifically in an area called Fruita, for which the specimen was named after.

Artist reconstruction of the dinosaur Fruitadens

Artist reconstruction of the dinosaur Fruitadens

The strange dentition of this animal implies that Fruitadens might have been omnivorous, eating plants and at least insects if not small vertebrates. Doyle has produced the first and most accurate illustrated and sculpted reconstructions of this animal. Fruitadens belongs to a family of early dinosaurs called heterodontosaurids, which share many interesting features, one of which are the teeth. Fruitadens like other heterodontisaurids have varied dentition, and in the front of the mouth sits a canine like tooth on the lower jaw. His work was featured on every major news source in the world, and five of the sculpted Fruitadens will be featured in the new galleries in 2011. In his studio, Doyle is currently working on a scale Fruitadens, which will be approximately 30cm long . This will be the only scaled sculpture of the animal, and the first and only for sale. The full scale version is not for sale and can only be seen at the Museum.

Doyle is also concurrently working on Mamenchisaurus, a long neck dinosaur and part of the branch of Sauriscian (lizard hipped dinosaurs) known as Sauropods. As the prospects of obtaining a casting of the Chinese mamenchisaur skull proved too difficult, Doyle was charged with the task of reconstructing the skull from two dimensional reference and other dinosaurs like Camarasaurus for comparison, and to gain familiarirty with Sauropod skull anatomy. The rare skull was found in China and researchers provided a paper with a detailed description and several scientific illustrations. Sauropod skulls are rare because they are so frail in construction, have several small bones that usually disarticulated some time after the animal dies, and are not commonly preserved in fossilization, or are so disarticulated and in such small pieces that they are nearly impossible to find.

Doyle Trankina is a sculptor, illustrator and fossil preparator at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. For unique scientifically authenticated Dinosaur Art, Dinosaur Models and Dinosaur Resin Model Kits, visit his online store Dinosaur Model Toys.Com.

Many other interesting dinosaur facts can be found here at Boneblogger.

Share This

Give Yourself An Edge With This Carp Fishing Gear

Guest Post

When it comes to fishing, the biggest draw to freshwater fishing right now has to be carp fishing. This is the same throughout America as much as Europe. People just can’t seem to get enough. There might not be a considerable difference between fishing for carp over fishing (rod and reel) for anything else, but there are some differences to be presented. One of which is carp fishing gear. If you are serious about catching carp, you ought to educate yourself on the necessities.

When you think about carp fishing gear, you should be thinking a few things specifically. These being: the rods, bait, and line.

Getting a rod to specifically go carp fishing is a possibility for the serious carp angler. The difference in these rod and reels over the competition of other fishing types is generally the length of the rod. Carp rods get to be about 12′ long and with very good reason. If you are pulling in a 45 lb. Monster carp, you don’t want to lose your rod to the tension and pull of the fish. A longer rod simply gives you more leverage. They start around $25 for a low-end rod, but the best rods will run you around $150. The difference is the makeup of materials, which greatly affects the rods endurance and overall durability in clutch situations.

Perhaps the most important part of fishing for carp exclusively is getting bait that carp exclusively enjoy. Granted, this is not to say that some other fish isn’t going to be enticed by what you have dangling in the water, but you will land more carp by getting the right baits. Some of the companies that make some great bait to land big carp are K-1 and Kryston. They both claim to have some great concoctions of proteins and enticing elements that carp simply cannot ignore.

Getting appropriate line is pretty crucial to your cause as well. If you have insufficient line, then you might not have the carp either. Some carp can get over 50 pounds, and so you have to have a line that can withstand the thrashing and evasiveness of a 50 pound fish. Most often carp range in the 10-20 pound range, yet you don’t want to plan for this being your maximum. Planning ahead can be the difference between the big carp and the big story about the big carp.

The most important aspect of carp fishing is technique and practice. No amount of great gear will live up to real experience and knowledge. Raw skill comes from practice, and no carp can resist the bait of an angler like that.

So if you are confident in your abilities and just want to get an edge, you should definitely check out some of this incredible carp fishing gear.

If you would like to know more about used cheap carp fishing gear, please feel free to visit that page or have a look at this carp fishing blog.

Share This