Fossil avatars transform paleontology

Fossil avatars transform paleontology


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The new techniques that are being used to display fossils are transforming the understanding of evolutionary history. The fossil avatars They have not only revealed internal and external anatomical characteristics, but also the possibility of studying them in parallel.

These techniques have allowed paleontologists to go further and come up with explanations for why sauropod dinosaurs had such long necks. Submit the digital fossil models for biomechanical analysis, including the use of the same computational techniques that engineers use to design test aircraft and bridges.

However, scientists at the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences point out that the potential benefits of fossil avatars are not being realized.

On a practical level, we simply do not have the infrastructure to store and share the large data sets that describe fossils, and the policies of the world's leading museums that protect the copyright of fossils are preventing the sharing of data to legal level”Explained Dr. John Cunningham, lead author of the study.

Co-author Dr. Stephan Lautenschlager added: «The increasing availability of fossil avatars will allow us to bring long-extinct animals to life virtually, using computer models to calculate how they moved and fed. However, in many cases, they are hampered by our limited understanding of the biology of modern species to which the ideal would be to compare fossils.”.

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