HIGH RESOLUTION THREE-DIMENSIONAL LASER-SCANNING OF THE TYPE SPECIMEN OF EUBRONTES (?) GLENROSENSIS SHULER, 1935, FROM THE COMANCHEAN (LOWER CRETACEOUS) OF TEXAS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DIGITAL ARCHIVING AND PRESERVATION
The lower member of the Glen Rose Formation (Albian, Lower Cretaceous) in what is now Dinosaur Valley State Park preserves dinosaur trackways of theropods and sauropods. An excavated theropod track was built into the wall of the bandstand at the Somervell County Courthouse by the citizens of Glen Rose, Texas, in 1933 and later designated as the type specimen of the ichnospecies Eubrontes (?) glenrosensis. To this day, this unique paleontological and cultural resource attracts visitors. Over the past 74 years, exposure to the elements has caused erosional loss, altering the shape of the track impression, but to an unknown degree. In order to preserve the current state of the type specimen and provide a baseline for future analyses, 3D laser scanning was employed to perform in situ digitization of the track. The scans were post-processed to generate a high-resolution 3D digital model of the track. The model was rendered in various media formats for viewing, publication, and archival purposes. Raw scan data and industry-standard 3D object files formats are available for download. Portable 3D laser scanners capture original fossil morphology and texture, thus providing a low cost, high fidelity alternative to traditional molding and casting. The results demonstrate the advantages of using portable laser scanners to capture field data and create high-resolution, interactive models that can be digitally archived and made accessible via the worldwide web for research and education.
KEY WORDS: 3D laser scanning, Eubrontes, digital archive, Lower Cretaceous, dinosaur track
PE Article Number: 13.3.1T
Copyright: Palaeontological Association November 2010
Submission: 16 November 2009. Acceptance: 14 September 2010