Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Whole Lotta Lemur

We think of lemurs as cute little primates, maybe the size of a cat at most. Not so Hadropithecus stenognathus, an extinct 50-kg giant. This article documents how scientists at Penn State used computerized tomography to get a "virtually complete" skull by gluing together bone fragments found in 2003 with, incredibly, the partial skull of the same individual found in 1899. As one put it, "This is very much a modern research story. We did all the work with the help of computers and neither all of the scientists nor all of the specimens were ever in the same room."

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