It is inevitable that some important specimens will become lost or damaged over time, conservation is therefore of vital importance. The Paluxy River dinosaur tracksite is among the most famous in the world. In 1940, Roland T. Bird described and excavated a portion of the site containing associated theropod and sauropod trackways. This excavated trackway was split up and housed in different institutions, and during the process a portion was lost or destroyed. We applied photogrammetric techniques to photographs taken by Bird over 70 years ago, before the trackway was removed, to digitally reconstruct the site as it was prior to excavation. The 3D digital model offers the opportunity to corroborate maps drawn by R.T. Bird when the tracksite was first described. More broadly, this work demonstrates the exciting potential for digitally recreating palaeontological, geological, or archaeological specimens that have been lost to science, but for which photographic documentation exists.
Earth Sciences | Paleobiology
Peter L. Falkingham, Karl T. Bates, and James O. Farlow (2014).
Historical Photogrammetry: Bird's Paluxy River Dinosaur Chase Sequence Digitally Reconstructed As It Was Prior to Excavation 70 Years Ago. PLoS One.9 (4), e93247.