3D reconstruction of the fossil skull of Opisthiamimus gregori
Video showing 3D reconstruction of the fossil skull of Opisthiamimus gregori, a new extinct species of lizard-like reptile from the Late Jurassic of Wyoming, U.S. Individual bones are color-coded.
The research team set about scanning the fossil with high-resolution computed tomography (CT), a method that uses multiple X-ray images from different angles to create a 3D representation of the specimen. The team used three separate CT scanning facilities, including one housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, to capture everything they possibly could about the fossil. Once the fossil’s bones had been digitally rendered, the team set about reassembling the digitized bones of the skull, some of which were crushed, out of place or missing on one side, using software to evenutally create a nearly complete lifelike 3D reconstuction.