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Museum hosts developer of “Visible Dinosaur Project”

Discover how the latest advances in high-tech imaging and 3D computer modeling, combined with old-school anatomy, are allowing scientists to “flesh out” dinosaurs in unprecedented ways when Lawrence Witmer discusses the “Visible Dinosaur Project” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ main auditorium on Tuesday, October 16 at 7pm. Free.

Witmer is Chang Professor of Paleontology and Professor of Anatomy at Ohio University, as well as Director of the WitmerLab where he and his colleagues explore the functional morphology of vertebrates. “A major focus of our work has been the soft tissues of the heads of dinosaurs,” Witmer says. “But, since fossils tend to preserve only bones and teeth, we also study modern-day animals. As a result, our projects are diverse, ranging from studies of the nasal apparatus of Diplodocus to the brain and ear of T. rex to the horns of rhinos to the airflow in alligator heads.”

Scientists at WitmerLab use traditional techniques, as well as the latest in high-tech imaging and 3D visualization. “Anatomy is our stock-in-trade, because anatomical details record the evolution of adaptation,” Witmer adds. “Their study provides a better understanding of the vertebrate head: how it works—from physiology to biomechanics—and how it evolves.” In addition to the Visible Dinosaur Project, Witmer’s lab has produced freely downloadable resources for education and research including the visible interactive ostrich, iguana, alligator and rhino. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/witmerlab

Arrive early (6pm) for a speaker reception and poster presentations, or enjoy light fare and beverages from the Daily Planet Café.

Publish Date: 
Monday, October 8, 2012