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      The protection and preservation of irrecoverable, sensitive and fragile objects in museums, exhibitions and collections is critical in various research fields like cultural heritage, human sciences and paleontology. Lately, digitization of such endangered specimens proved to be a valuable tool to convert the objects into a digital form. However, in order to exploit all possibilities that such data could provide for educational and research purposes, it can be useful to transform the digital material back into a physical form. In this case study, a neck of a diplodocid sauropod dinosaur was digitally reproduced by 3D printing (a variant of rapid prototyping). The process is described in detail, and compared to the more classical reproduction using CNC-mills. CNC-milling is an inexpensive and accurate reproduction technology for large objects, and especially well-designed for producing durable casts. On the other hand, 3D printing is highly accurate to create small or complex objects, but is more expensive and yields more fragile physical objects. As accuracy of the complex shapes of the diplodocid cervical vertebrae was required in order to use them for research, 3D printing was preferred over CNC-milling in this case.

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      Flexibility along the neck of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) and consequences for the reconstruction of dinosaurs with extreme neck length.

      The gross morphology and the flexibility along the neck of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) were examined using fresh tissue as well as neck skeletons. The results of the morphologic studies were compared with results from observations of living ostriches. The investigation was focused on differences in the morphology and the function between different sections of the neck. Additionally, the function of major dorsal neck ligaments was examined, including measurements of force-strain-relations. Comparative studies of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) and camels (Camelus bactrianus) were conducted to find relations between the flexibility along the neck and the general feeding strategy. The examinations revealed that the neck of the ostrich can be divided into four sections with different functions. The first is the atlas-axis-complex which is responsible for torsion. The adjacent cranial section of the neck is flexible in dorsoventral and lateral directions but this part of the neck is usually kept straight at rest and during feeding. Dorsoventral flexibility is highest in the middle section of the neck, whereas the base of the neck is primarily used for lateral excursions of the neck. For giraffes and camels, the posture and utilization of the neck are also reflected in the flexibility of the neck. For all three species, it is possible to reconstruct the pattern of flexibility of the neck by using the neck skeletons alone. Therefore, it appears reasonable to reconstruct the neck utilization and the feeding strategies of dinosaurs with long necks by deriving the flexibility of the neck from preserved vertebrae. For Diplodocus carnegii the neck posture and the feeding strategy were reconstructed. Two neck regions, one around the 9th neck vertebra and the second at the base of the neck, indicate that Diplodocus, like the ostrich, adopted different neck postures. The neck was probably kept very low during feeding. During interruptions of the feeding, e.g., in an alert, the head could have been lifted in an economic way by raising the cranial section of the neck. During standing and locomotion the head was probably located well above the shoulders. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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        An Integrated Approach to Three-Dimensional Data Collection at Dinosaur Tracksites in the Rocky Mountain West

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          Tools for rapid prototyping in the biosciences


            Author and article information

            [CICEGe, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal]
            [Museu da Lourinhã, Rua João Luis de Moura, 2530-158 Lourinhã, Portugal]
            [Institut für Biologie und Ihre Didaktik, Universität Flensburg, Germany]
            GEAL, Museu da Lourinha (Portugal)
            : 10
            : 1-8
            © 2012 Tschopp and Gordon

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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