I am proud to say that a former graduate student and alumnus of the FMEA lab, Ashley Morhardt, is part of Team 3D Alligator. What is Team 3D Alligator? The Witmer and Holliday labs have teamed up to make available an amazing variety of three-dimensional models of adult and hatchling alligator skulls. Some of the cool things to see are reconstructions of the brain and other internal organs of the skull. Alligators and the crocodylian kin form an important outgroup branch that we dinosaur paleontologists use to constrain and “root” our anatomical reconstructions and inferences of dinosaurs as living animals. This resource will be an invaluable tool to paleontologists, biologists, instructors, and teachers from K-12 and beyond.
It was a logical next step for Ashley to be involved in such a project — her M.S. thesis focused on archosaur skulls and inferring soft tissues around the mouth in dinosaurs.