I've been lucky enough to download a 36 month trial of Autodesk Maya for free (educational license)! And I've been having fun with the tutorials, the first of which was to create a 3D temple. I'll be adding in 3D matrices of the fossils I've scanned soon enough, and would love to create some animations to show decay sequences as well.
I saw this over at Tetrapod Zoology, and just had to re-post it here! This is from a multichoice exam concerning the survival of the fittest. There's also some excellent taphonomy at play!
I saw this image on Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, and I couldn't help myself...
People have known for quite a long time that Medieval steel plate armour is extremely heavy, and that there would be a trade-off between wearing almost impenetrable armour and mobility/fatigue. But now there is a paper that tests just how much locomotor performance is affected by this armour!
Askew et al. (2011) examined the net cost of locomotion and (unsurprisingly) found it to be much higher when wearing armour than without armour. Interestingly, this cost was greater for walking in armour (2.1 to 2.3 times higher) than running in armour (1.9 times higher). Unfortunately, the sample size for the experiment was very low (4 male subjects), but given that experience wearing Medieval armour was a requirement of the subjects, the small sample size is understandable.
The authors state practical application of their data in interpreting the outcomes of Medieval wars; frankly, I'm more interested in historical changes in fighting styles or movement to compensate for the increased load.
Thanks to The Critical Finch for sending this article to me!
Askew, G. N., Formenti, F., Minetti, A. E., 2011. Limitations imposed by wearing armour on Medieval soldiers’ locomotor performance. Proc. R. Soc. B 2012, 279: 640-644. First published online 20 July 2011. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0816.
Image from Askew et al. (2011)
Today I'm interested in researching the formation and composition of gravesoil; the nutrient rich soil formed by the putrefaction of a decaying organism, also known as a "concentrated island of fertility" or a "Cadaver Decomposition Island (CDI)". Sounds positively romantic! It also means that I've started to read forensic science journal papers, and although I find my personal research very interesting, I'm unsure as to whether I'd ever be able to work with cadavers.
Benninger, Laura A., Carter, David O., Forbes, Shari L. The biochemical alteration of soil beneath a decomposing carcass. Forensic Science International, Vol. 180, Issue 2, Pages 70-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2008.07.001
Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph.
_I know Nike already has this one, but I've decided my own personal motto this year will be "just do it". Such as organising particularly tricky parts of my PhD, getting lab access to equipment I need, riding my bike into uni etc... Instead of spending time thinking about how hard/tiring/confusing it might all be, instead I'll leap in and just do it.
I'll let you know how it goes!
About the author
Dr Caitlin Syme is a palaeontologist studying the taphonomy (preservation state) of fossil non-avian dinosaurs, crocodiles and fish from the Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Think forensic science or CSI for fossils, and you're on the right track!
Love in the Time ofChasmosaurs
Not Exactly Rocket- Science
Prerogative of Harlots
The Integrative Paleontologists
The Mammoth Prairie
The Professor Is In
UQ Palaeo Blog
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