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New crocodilian page on digimorph

Posted for Jon Wagner.


I set up the following page on digimorph.org as a favor to the folks who work there, and to try and raise the bar for supplementary text on that website. It is intended to serve as an online outline and collection of illustrations for a lecture on the finer points of the anatomy of the crocodilian skull, for users who are already familiar with the basic bones and structures of a reptile skull.


For those of you who don't know the site, digimorph.com is an NSF-sponsored digital library of CT scans of objects, mostly vertebrate skeletons (there is one pineapple!). Scans can be viewed in a number of ways, including 2D slices, and quicktime movies of 3D reconstructions. Many of the latter are cut-aways, allowing detailed exploration of the internal structure of the object. For professionals, this technology is especially useful, because it allows non-destructive evaluation of the internal structure of rare or sensitive species, and can be used on whole preserved specimens to avoid the distortion associated with dried skeletal material. Scans are expensive ($500-1500 is typical), and nearly all of the funds used are public, so everyone is invited to make the most possible use of this resource. Within the strictures of copyright laws and proper scientific ethics with regard to the treatment of others' data, of course.

The website has a number of other crocodilian scans, although not all of them are up to the standard of detail and rendering of the example at the link given above. It also has fossil dinosaurs, birds, turtles, lizards, snakes, a couple tuataras, and some other, much less interesting animals as well.

I hope you enjoy this,

Jon Wagner
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