The rex Lab filmed golden and bald eagles at the National Eagle Center, with dual synchronized high-speed, high-definition cameras. Here Kari Mosbacher and Chrissy Burkhart stand next to an inset frame capture of one of the NEC's enormous female bald eagles. With our physics software, students will track and derive 3D feeding kinematics of the raptors.
UW-La Crosse junior Zach Tooley joins the lab to work on the neck and skull anatomy of a Siamese crocodile, in collaboration with Ohio University. Here Zach uses the program OsiriX to isolate the bony elements making up the atlas (first neck vertebra).
Students present at 2014 Celebration of Research and Creativity, UW-La Crosse
Lauren Schultz, Kari Mosbacher, Cody Fisher, and Mari Sweetman (in order on the pictures below) presented research on correlations of bone density and feeding adaptations in raptors and alligators. Next stage: publication!
rex and Klein lab student Christina Burkhart wins major award
Renaissance woman Christina Burkhart won a major stipend for summer research, working with the rex Lab and Prof. Barrett Klein on firefly flight patterns. In experiments entirely of her own design, Chrissy will test her hypotheses about firefly behavior with high-speed video and calculations of digitized flight movement.
Collaboration with Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
That was fast. Lab PI Eric Snively visited the T. rex Discovery Centre and RSM Field Station in Eastend, SK, to set up summer collaboration with Curator of Palaeontology Tim Tokaryk. The RSM and rex Lab will use computed tomographic (CT) scanning, and the Canadian Light Source synchrotron (University of Saskatchewan), to investigate bones of adult and juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex. Here are Tim and Eric with Scotty (RSM P2523.8) for scale.
A grant to the rex Lab will jump-start our high-speed video and clever motion tracking of feeding raptors, and enable us to CT scan the neck vertebrae of Scotty the Tyrannosaurus rex (Royal Saskatchewan Museum RSM P2523.8; photo by Meagan Gilbert). The video will document and quantify feeding motions in raptors like this bald eagle, which we will replicate through musculoskeletal computer modelling. What we discover about errors in our models will inform simulated dynamics of bigger theropod dinosaurs, like Allosaurus and Scotty the T. rex.
Densities in the skull and beak of a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), rendered in OsiriX by rex Lab student Lauren Schultz. The lab is studying bone densities and stiffness to hypothesize functions related to feeding, testable through finite element analysis.
Mari Sweetman and Cody Fisher join the rex Lab to document skull densities in crocodilians. Both are excelling in their first UW-LAX classes; Mari is a high school student getting a jump on university coursework!
Karolyn Mosbacher joins the rex Lab team to pursue research on bird anatomy. Kari is a first-year undergraduate, and is already collecting data on bird skull densities. Here she has produced a dorsal view of a merlin (Falco columbarius) skull based on CT data...
...while lab veteren Lauren Schultz (right) produces a spectacular anterior CT view of a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) skull. Kari (left) and Lauren held these expressions for 45 seconds.
Below is the Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni ) Max, at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Calgary, Alberta. Max and other raptors at CWRS feature in our latest paper on feeding in modern birds (and larger dinosaurs), accepted by Journal of Zoology.
Larry Witmer discusses rex Lab's contributions to fleshing out dinosaurs, with both anatomy and motion, in his talk to Ohio University's Science Cafe. Eloquent (and physical) demonstration of our metaphors for dinosaur feeding.
UW-La Crosse junior Lauren Schultz has joined the rex Lab to investigate feeding in birds and other dinosaurs. Here, Lauren visualizes regions of particularly dense bone in the skull (minus the sclerotic rings) of a great horned owl, using the CT imaging program OsiriX.