Seeing through vertebrates to see through time

While waiting in the airport for my last flight (long story) to Providence, RI, and on to Brown University for the XROMM course, I obtained a good WiFi signal and so I’m writing a brief post.


Tomorrow will mark the beginning of learning new cineradiography techniques and skeletal modeling that I have jealously been wanting to do for a long time.  It is hard to convey in words how anxious and interested I am to begin learning and then using the XROMM techniques.  Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, so forgive the hyperbole, but I feel somewhat like a physicist who first get access to an atom smasher or an astronomer learning for the first time how to peer into the cosmos through some technologically marvelous telescope.

For someone like myself who is interested in how the skeleton actually behaves as a machine, and how to apply this new XROMM technology to deciphering past vertebrates like dinosaurs, this is coming close to time travel.  Okay, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration again, but I believe that seeing through live vertebrates to understand quantitatively how their skeletons “tick” is seeing through time.  Conserved movement and novel functions in living relatives of dinosaurs help us realistically constrain and predict what those long-dead animals were doing when they moved, hunted, or vacuumed-up vegetation.

I’ll be updating this blog throughout the week, and of course you can follow me on twitter for up-to-the-minute thoughts and comments.


5 thoughts on “Seeing through vertebrates to see through time

  1. Pingback: XROMM Day 1: Pig heads and C-arms | The Evolving Paleontologist

  2. Pingback: XROMM Day 2: This little piggy bites … in 3-D | The Evolving Paleontologist

  3. Pingback: XROMM Days 3-5: Data, data, data | The Evolving Paleontologist

  4. Pingback: Oh, Rats! | The Evolving Paleontologist

  5. Pingback: XROMM is coming to Stockton and the BFF Lab! | The Evolving Paleontologist

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