Local paleontologists stunned this afternoon as a CT scan took on a new role, unlocking the secrets of 66-million-year-old fossils.
“Ultimately our goal is to create a picture of the past that over time becomes more and more complete and more and more accurate. And you do that by gathering tiny bits of information over a long period of time,” said Owner of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Mike Triebold.
The scan already being used across the world but never in the southern half of Colorado. Something Triebold says moves them forward in a way they never thought possible.
“We can’t take any more of the rock out of it, or else it’ll become unstable. So what we wanted to do here was to see inside of the skull without having to take it apart! And the only way to do that was with the CT scan,” explained Triebold.
The two specimens they chose come from Thescelosaurus and an Alligator Gar, two pieces that until now were simply a mystery.
But with this new technique they can ship their findings around the globe and enhance their own understandings right here at home.
“We can preserve all the original data, plus, get to see all the really interesting stuff underneath it and the relationship of it with the external surface as well,” said Curator of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Anthony Maltese.
And judging by their reaction the scan went extremely well, and is a major breakthrough for their research.
“I was blown away, I never thought I’d be able to see that kind of detail and resolution on any of these specimens. This is just more than I could’ve ever hoped for,” said Maltese.
“There’s an extremely high resolution on the scan and we’re very pleased with that,” said Triebold.
The scan will allow for copies to made anywhere the research is shipped, but to get a look at the real thing you can visit the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center just up the road in Woodland Park.
Check out the video and story at http://www.koaa.com/news/fossil-research-takes-futuristic-leap/