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3D scanning helps uncover 350M-year-old tetrapod fossil in Scotland

3D scanning helps uncover 350M-year-old tetrapod fossil in Scotland

Source: 3Ders.org
January 11, 2017
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Jan 11, 2017 | By Julia

Palaeontologists in Scotland have uncovered one of the first animals to crawl up out of the water and walk the shores of land. Meet “Tiny,” a small four-footed creature with a backbone, lungs, teeth, and five digits.

Hailing from Southern Scotland, Tiny is one of the first land-living vertebrates. As a Tetrapod – an evolutionary development that includes reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals – Tiny dates back about 350 million years, and her discovery marks a major breakthrough for palaeontologists.

Yet no one has actually seen Tiny, so to speak. Her fossil, which remains encased in unassuming black rock, bears no indication of the treasures inside. And without today’s technology, Tiny might remain undiscovered in that rock for ages to come, unbeknownst to scientists.

a reconstruction of one of the first Tetrapods

“We didn’t really know it was in the small piece of rock that we collected until it was CT scanned,” explains Dr. Nick Fraser, Keeper of Natural Sciences at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. “We were quite surprised to find Tiny hiding in the sediment - we still only know it from the 3D scan and the 3D print and so haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the actual fossil!”

While any fossil discovery is exciting, the revelation of Tiny is particularly significant, as she dates back to a time period that has, up until now, yielded very few fossils. Named after paleontologist Alfred Romer, Romer’s Gap references a period ranging from 360 to 345 million years ago (also known as the Tournaisi...


SOURCE: 3Ders.org ( go on reading...)