What’s it like working for FossilPhiles? Part 3 of 5

Post from FossilPhiles student Jack,

11th Grade, Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy

FossilPhiles has been very interesting, fun and even challenging. The most challenging part has to be documenting the very fine leg bones of small birds and reptiles. I say this because of all the positioning of the fossil that was required to take good enough pictures for the software to make the fossil appear in 3D.

20170302_155301

These tiny limb bones are
about the hardest things to
model;
they’re long, slender and
mostly featureless.

 

 

 

 

Once we made the 3D model, it was also very tasking to go through it on the computer and clean off any of the clay (which we use to hold up the fossils when we take the pictures) that might have shown up in the 3d modeling program.

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The most interesting thing about FossilPhiles has to be learning about the family tree we use for classifying the creatures and how we find out who is related to who in the fossil record. Khai, our mentor, and I have talked about these classifications over many classes. I find it so interesting because the small properties of each species change how we can identify the ancient creatures. I really enjoy FossilPhiles. I think it is an important program because it brings fossils that people could never normally see into their homes and I think that is really cool. The documentation of what is going on is also important. I personally had no idea what it was like to be a paleontologist but after spending all the time in the lab with Khai I have a better understanding of what that career is like, and I feel that is very important.

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