Project Topic / Abstract:
“Computer-Enhanced, Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Petrified Plants”
Plants can be fossilized in several ways. An important yet infrequent, method of preservation is permineralization, in which individual cells of the plant are preserved. Due to the nature of this fossil type, only thin sections (80 um thick) of the petrified plant under investigation can be removed from a rock using the cellulose acetate peel technique. To observe the fossil in its entirety, individual sectiosn can be three-dimensionally reconstructed by serially digitizing them into a microcomputer. Once digitized, the serial sections are automatically aligned creating a graphic reconstruction of the fossil. The image can be viewed at multiple rotational angles, and any component of the reconstruction can be emphasized or de-emphasized. The computer-generated image can be photographed for presentation and/or publication, videotaped in a movie-like mode, or incorporated into a word-processed document as an illustration. reconstructions of a 45 million-year old flower from the Middle Eocene of British Columbia, Canada will be demonstated.
- Truman Undergraduate Research Symposium (Kirksville, MO)