Multi-view stereo three-dimensional reconstruction of lower molars of Recent and Pleistocene rhinoceroses for mesowear analysis
In this work we tested how well a method, where 3D reconstructions are produced from photographs, is suited for palaeontological investigations. This method is attractive since photographing specimens is faster than scanning them with a needle or a laser scanner, which means that for example museum visits can be better utilised. Also, a digital camera is far less expensive and more mobile than dedicated 3D scanners. The palaeodiet reconstruction of North-Western European Pleistocene rhinoceroses was used as a test case. For this purpose we developed a method for the analysis of lower molars of rhinoceroses, to which classical mesowear analysis cannot be applied. This method is based on examining the facets of the buccal enamel band. We considered two variations of the method. In the first variant we digitally measured the angle between the surface of the enamel edge and the buccal side surface of the teeth and used it to score the wear patterns. The second variant was based on a visual scoring. Our experience suggests that the 3D models based on digital photographs provide sufficient accuracy for the models to be suitable for palaeontological investigations. The results suggest that the dietary regime of Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis and Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis fall within the browsing realm. The diet of Stephanorhinus hemitoechus was more abrasive, but not as abrasive as that of the Recent mixed feeder Rhinoceros unicornis. The dietary regime of Coelodonta antiquitatis falls between the dietary regimes of the Recent extreme grazer Ceratotherium simum and mixed feeder Rhinoceros unicornis.
Key Words: 3D; mesowear; molar teeth, lower; rhinoceros; Pleistocene
PE Article Number: 14.2.2T
Copyright: Society for Vertebrate Paleontology July 2011
Submission: 6 July 2010. Acceptance: 18 March 2011