Friday, 21 September 2012

Chirotherium footprint in 3D

Here's a 360-degree animated view of a superb Chirotherium footprint cast I recorded on my recent trip to Manchester Museum's ichnology collection.

Notice the prominent claw marks and well-preserved nodes on each digit. Digit V is present but not quite as well preserved, and shows this is a left foot print. What is especially interesting about this particular print is the length of the footprint; aside from the impressions of the digits which are often seen in specimens of this ichnotaxa, there is a well-defined u-shaped bulge, the hindmost margin of which is approximately 240mm from the tip of digit III. Could this represent the heel of the foot? Well, I'm not so sure and I hope to have a closer look at this print when time allows. The distance to the fracture is around 169mm.

The techniques used to record this fossil (and other digital methodologies) will be discussed in talks and taught in workshops at DigitalFossil 2012 in Berlin, which starts on Sunday. It will be well worth visit if you're interested in the digital techniques currently being used and under development and their applications in palaeontology and ichnology.

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