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Rebuilding Proailurus using Photoshop

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There are those who say
I manipulate images in Photoshop and that – plus a long list of other ‘sins’ – makes me a pseudoscientist, or just a paleoartist, not a real scientist.

As longtime readers know, I do manipulate images in Photoshop.
I add colors, copy and paste and put separate images together in order to learn as much as I can about a fossil (Figs 1, 2) so I can score it correctly in phylogenetic analysis.

I started doing this in 2003
while rebuilding the skull of the anurognathid, Jeholopterus. [See blogpost masthead above]. I shared this method with other pterosaur workers in an email. There were no responses. No thank yous. Crickets.

Currently in 2024
I am under the impression that many other workers are casually and perhaps exclusively using Photoshop in this digital age. This has to be the case with µCT scans and digital = PDF manuscripts.

PLUS – You can use the monitor as a microscope and trace images digitally.

Goodbye camera lucida.

Let’s run through an example or two
(Figs 1, 2) to show the value of this method and how it affects matrix scoring.

Figure 1. The skull of Proailurus previously used to score this taxon. The upper image appears to be a sculpture, not a fossil. Compare to figure 2. ” data-image-caption=”

Figure 1. The skull of Proailurus previously used to score this taxon. The upper image appears to be a sculpture, not a fossil. Compare to figure 2.

” data-medium-file=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull588.jpg?w=217″ data-large-file=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull588.jpg?w=584″ tabindex=”0″ role=”button” class=”size-full wp-image-87234″ src=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull588.jpg” alt=”Figure 1. The skull of Proailurus previously used to score this taxon. The upper image appears to be a sculpture, not a fossil. Compare to figure 2.” width=”584″ height=”808″ />

Figure 1. The skull of Proailurus previously used to score this taxon. The upper image appears to be a sculpture, not a fossil. Compare to figure 2.

Here is how Photoshop can be used
to manipulate the image of the partial skull of Proailurus, an extinct cat (Fig 1). Previously I used this above image (Fig 1) for scoring. Unfortunately, sketchy problems kept appearing. Frustrated and seeking solutions, I went back to the literature and the Internet.

The new image(s) (Fig 2) changed scores that helped resolve earlier issues.

Figure 2. A Photoshop rebuild of Proailurus. Note the angling of the cranium to make the jaw joint meet the jaw. ” data-image-caption=”

Figure 2. A Photoshop rebuild of Proailurus. Note the angling of the cranium to make the jaw joint meet the jaw.

” data-medium-file=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull_378458.gif?w=148″ data-large-file=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull_378458.gif?w=506″ tabindex=”0″ role=”button” class=”size-full wp-image-87237″ src=”https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/proailurus_lemanensis_skull_378458.gif” alt=”Figure 2. A Photoshop rebuild of Proailurus. Note the angling of the cranium to make the jaw joint meet the jaw. ” width=”584″ height=”1183″ />

Figure 2. A Photoshop rebuild of Proailurus. Note the angling of the cranium to make the jaw joint meet the jaw.

This new reconstruction = rebuild of Proailurus
(Fig 2) results in a more cat-like and less sabertooth morphology (Fig 1). In the large reptile tree (LRT, 2320 taxa) sabertooths are related to wolverines, not to cats.

Proailurus lemanensis
(Fihol 1879, MNHN SG 3509, Late Oligocene, 25mya, about the size of a domestic cat) nests with Acinonyx, the cheetah, in the LRT.

References
Filhol H 1879. Étude des mammifères fossiles de Saint-Gérand le Puy (Allier). Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études, Section des Sciences Naturelles. 19 (1): 1–252.

wiki/Proailurus


Source: https://pterosaurheresies.wordpress.com/2024/07/04/rebuilding-proailurus-using-photoshop/


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