One of the essential qualities of 3D technology that I most love is its versatility. We’ve already found a multitude of uses for it. And with all the creative people on the planet, we will continue to find more unique, whimsical, pioneering ways to exercise it. 3D technology really is a blank sheet ... More
Using CAT scans and making 3-D virtual reconstructions of the jaws of the ancient fish Helicoprion, Idaho State University researchers have solved some of the mysteries surrounding large spiral fossils of this fish’s teeth.
The ISU Museum of Natural History has one of the largest public collections of Helicoprion spiral-teeth fossils in the world. The fossils of this 270-million-year-old or older fish have long mystified scientists ... More
"Recent Rapid Human Evolution: Some Implications for the Humanities and the Sciences"
by Dr. Henry Harpendig
Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology.
On Thursday February 7th at 7:00 pm, in the College of Education Auditorium, Education Building Room 243 ... More
Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society." ... More
Idaho State Museum Cements Ties to Smithsonian
The Idaho Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution have announced a cooperative agreement that will utilize the museum's expertise at making 3-D digital images. ... More
Virtual Paleontology of Idaho
The Vertebrate Paleontology Division of the Idaho Museum of Natural History has a number of world class collections that we will be digitizing over the next few years. Below is a selection of items that we have chosen as exapmles of what will be coming in the future.
The Earth Science Division curates the world's largest collection of Helicoprion specimens. A large spiral of teeth is typically all that remains of an ancient fish called Helicoprion, its form and ancestry masked by a poor fossil record. New research led by IMNH curator Dr. Leif Tapanila provides new interpretations of this remarkable fossil.
CT scans of a unique specimen from Idaho show the spiral of teeth within the jaws of the animal, giving new information on what the animal looked like, how it ate, and showing that it was more closely related to modern ratfish than to sharks. Artistic reconstructions by Ray Troll give life to this ancient creature that swam the world's oceans more than 270 million years ago.
|More than a century of research on fossil spiral-tooth whorls has produced many imaginative scenarios for what Helicoprion looked like. The new reconstruction (at the bottom of the image) is based on a fossil that preserves the jaws in context with the whorl. Original artwork by Ray Troll.|
|The new reconstruction of Helicoprion. An arc of a dozen or so teeth are exposed in the lower jaw, but hidden below the gum line, another 100 teeth from its youth are concealed in a spiral. Original artwork by Ray Troll.|
|Click on the image above for a 3D PDF of the reconstruction|
Surface scans of Helicoprion specimens: Click on the image to view a 3D PDF
|The Ice Age giant, Bison latifrons, was one of the most majestic animals to roam the plains of Idaho. Several complete skulls with large horns were preserved at the American Falls Reservoir north of Pocatello, Idaho.|
|Click on the Image above for a 3D PDF of the Skull of a Bison latifrons|
|The Green River Formation in western Wyoming records life in and around lakes nearly 40 million years ago. Fossil fish are the most abundant and iconic animals from these world-famous deposits.|
|Click on the images above to view 3D PDFs of the items|