Spring Into Action

Register for new fitness sessions starting mid-March! 

Register Here

Several museums, including the Washington Smithsonian, and London's Natural History Museum, will be scanning millions of specimens to create a digital collection.

By "digitizing" specimens, it allows others to study collections across the world and is a means of preserving history. The fire which destroyed the Brazil National Museum in 2018 is a prime example of the significance of preservation.

Executive Director of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, Peter Cantelon, believes creating digital copies of fossils is a good idea.

"One of the advantages of a CT scan, which is essentially a great powerful and complex series of x-rays, is that it gives a lot more detail in terms of the density and interior structure of fossils."

The Boundary Trails Health Centre allowed the CFDC to scan a small mosasaur skull; this gave the museum a greater understanding of the specimen, including the creatures brain cavity.

The Smithsonian will be digitally recording over 40 million fossils; Cantelon says though the idea of scanning a collection is a good one, the endeavor is unattainable to smaller museums as they lack the funding necessary to achieve such goals.

"We rely on the goodwill of our neighbours, like BTHC; hopefully, when this becomes a more common practice, it will become more accessible to smaller or medium-sized museums around the world."

A CT scan is limited to the one fossil at the CFDC, but they have partnered with North Forge to create 3D models. Cantelon adds they can put these models into a digital 3D space for research purposes or 3D printing.

CT scans, 3D models, and HD photographs are great ways to archive a collection says Cantelon, but they aren't replacements for the real specimens.

Currently, paleontologists like Mary Higby Schweitzer, are looking at fossils at a molecular level. A pioneer in this new research, Higby Schweitzer found soft-tissue in the femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex and obtained protein sequences from the bone.

"You can't do that kind of work with a 3D scan, or a print, or a CT scan, you still need that actual fossil, but these technologies certainly bring us a lot further into protecting and disseminating the information, which is our mandate," Cantelon says.

He says they have several projects they will be working with North Forge on in 2019.

2018 saw the museum continue its partnership with the city of Morden facilitating the unveiling of a new outdoor 4.5-meter-long replica of the ferocious toothed ancient fish Xiphactinus bringing to three the number of outdoor attraction for Morden.

The CFDC continues to see tremendous growth with paid attendance in 2018 of 15,243 people crushed the previous record of 12,854 in 2017.

2018 represents the third year of record attendance in the past four years for the museum which has seen attendance grow by 26 percent since 2015 and by a staggering 131 percent over 2013.

More Local News

WAC Chase The Ace Winner Takes Home $28,000 Jackpot (VIDEO)

Together with the weekly consolation prize, local resident Clorrissa Penner took home $28,599 Tuesday as the WAC Chase the Ace jackpot winner. The event had recently outgrown the Winkler Arts and…

Federal Budget Deficit An Investment Liberal Riding Rep Says

The spokesperson for the Portage-Lisgar Liberal Riding Association is defending the federal budget released on Tuesday. Ken Werbiski Ken Werbiski feels it's a good budget, despite running a roughly…

Mill Fire Quickly Extinguished North Of Altona

A small fire was quickly extinguished at an oat-milling facility north of Altona Wednesday morning. Zimmerman says employees quickly contained the small fire within the mill. Submitted photos.…

Rhineland Council Seeking Change To Provincial Ban On Low-Level Crossings

Council for the Municipality of Rhineland continues to lobby for a low-level crossing near the Rosenheim Drain southeast of Horndean. As Reeve Don Wiebe explains, about two years ago a bridge was…

Pembina And Roseau, Not A Big Flood Threat

There doesn't appear to be much of a flood threat this spring along two of the Red River's major tributaries. While major flooding along the Red is almost a certainty this year, the same can't be…

Flood Preparations To Get Underway This Week In The R.M. Of Morris

Officials in the R.M. of Morris are bracing for a significant flood event this spring following the province's latest forecast. With favourable weather, the Red River would rise to 2011 levels.…

Fourth Person Announces Bid For PC Nomination In Borderland

A fourth candidate has entered the race for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the Borderland riding. Altona area resident Josh Guenter has been approved by the PC party to seek the…

Portage-Lisgar MP Calls Federal Budget "Expensive Cover-Up"

The Federal government released its 2019-20 budget Tuesday, which included a $19.8 billion deficit. This was the Liberal government's final budget before the October federal election. Highlights…

Province Adds Millions To Municipal Road And Bridge Funding

The head of Manitoba's municipal lobby group says Tuesday's provincial infrastructure funding boost is good news. (Left to right) AMM Vice-President Kam Blight, President Ralph Groening and…

Clarifications To Provincial Acts Clear Up Grey Area For Fire Fighters

Four and a half years ago the chief of the Winkler Fire Department spearheaded lobby efforts to have changes made to two provincial acts that guide medical care in Manitoba, and those efforts have…

PembinaValleyOnline.com is your only local source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide