- Kudakwashe Jakata (University of the Witwatersrand)
16. Whiskers, nipples, venom, and head-butting: how imaging unravels the brain and paleobiology of our pre-mammalian ancestors
Dr Julien Benoit (Evolutionary Studies Institute, WITS, Johannesburg)
What is probably considered among the most influential paper about pre-mammalian palaeo-neurology states that "early cynodonts possessed low-resolution olfaction, poor vision, insensitive hearing, coarse tactile sensitivity, and unrefined motor coordination" (Rowe et al. 2011). This reflects the fact that the fossilized neuro-anatomy of mammalian ancestors has long been considered extremely...
Ms Muofhe Tshibalanganda (CT Scanner Facility, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
The use of X-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT) in palaeontology, geology, biology and material science and engineering has significantly increased in the last decade. In palaeontology, microCT is now widely used as the best tool to visualise and analyse fossils, which are sometimes still embedded in rock. With the growing use of microCT, the need for high-quality scan data is essential...
Mr Viktor Radermacher (Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand)
The Iron-rich fossil-bearing rocks of South Africa have tempered the success of traditional lab-CT scanning protocols, with results often lacking sufficient resolution and density contrast required for detailed analysis of fossil material. Two dinosaur specimens, from opposite sides of the dinosaurian family tree, were recently scanned on the BM05 and ID-19 beamlines at the ESRF. The results...
Dr Kimberley Etienne Justin Chapelle (Evolutionary Studies Institute and School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Understanding the palaeobiodiversity of the Early Jurassic of South Africa relies on researchers’ ability to correctly identify the various fossil taxa from that time. Complicating factors such as ontogeny, sexual dimorphism, and taphonomic deformation often hinder these taxonomic identifications. Micro Computed Tomography (CT) allows for an unprecedented level of detail when studying fossils...