In the last couple of weeks I’ve been fortunate to be working interstate at UWA and WAM (in Perth) and at MV in Melbourne. For those of you who don’t know the acronyms, that is the University of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum, and Museum Victoria. It’s a great perk of the job being able to travel to visit the specimens (and people) I need to to conduct my research.
At UWA I was working with Jeremy Shaw who helped me to scan a lungfish braincase on their Xraida CT machine (and it turned out beautifully!), and at the WA Museum, Kate Trinajstic and I photographed the new species of Devonian coelacanth from Gogo that we are currently describing.
In Melbourne I got to play with the laser scanner (so fun!) to scan some tetrapod trackways from Genoa River (Victoria), originally described by Warren & Wakefield in 1972. Unlike tomography which I normally use, the laser scanner captures just the surface morphology (shape) of an object, but this was perfect for the fossilised footprints. These are among some of the earliest preserved trackways made by a backboned animal (vertebrate) over 350 million years ago!
A big thanks to Isaac from Flinders for helping me learn how to use the scanner, and Tim Ziegler from the Melbourne Museum for arranging access to the specimens.