Fossil Museum on the Web

Apr 06, 2006

Ancient shells, dinosaur bones and other fossils are on display at http://www.3Dmuseum.org, a virtual gallery created by Ryosuke Motani, an assistant professor of geology at UC Davis. The Web interface allows users to turn, zoom and examine the fossils from all sides.

Exhibits currently on the site include skulls of the carnivorous dinosaur Dimetrodon, cougars and monkeys; teeth from sharks and mammoths; and shellfish, sea urchins and trilobites, hard-shelled segmented animals that were common in the oceans 300 million years ago. Most of the images can be downloaded for personal use and teaching purposes, and can be incorporated into slide presentations.

The Web site was built to explore ways of communicating three-dimensional data about fossils over the Internet, Motani said. He is also using similar methods to study elasmosaurs, a type of marine dinosaur which had an extremely long neck -- up to six yards, half again as long as the rest of its body.

"Our project is to reconstruct it in three dimensions and see how it could move," Motani said.

The fossils on display come mostly from private collections and the Condon Museum at the University of Oregon. Scanning of the fossils was carried out by Motani and his students. Development of the site was supported by an Early Career Award to Motani from the National Science Foundation presented in 2003, while he was on the faculty at the University of Oregon. He joined the Department of Geology at UC Davis in 2004.

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: Do government technology investments pay off?

Related Stories

The eyes have it: Dinosaurs hunted by night

Apr 14, 2011

The movie Jurassic Park got one thing right: Those velociraptors hunted by night while the big plant-eaters browsed around the clock, according to a new study of the eyes of fossil animals. The study will ...

Warm-blooded sea reptiles of the Jurassic

Jun 10, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- New evidence shows that reptiles roaming the oceans at the time of the dinosaurs could maintain a constant body temperature well above that of the surrounding water.

Recommended for you

Do government technology investments pay off?

9 minutes ago

Studies confirm that IT investments in companies improve productivity and efficiency. University of Michigan professor M.S. Krishnan wondered if the same was true for government.

Study finds assisted housing works, but it could be improved

25 minutes ago

Two researchers from the University of Kansas Department of Urban Planning have just completed a study on the locations of assisted housing units and assisted households across the nation. It examines one of the key issues ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.