Tools For The 21st Century main content.

Tools For The 21st Century

Part of the Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries exhibition.

Finding Fossils

Global Positioning System (GPS) devices linked to satellites orbiting Earth help teams in the field navigate to dig sites and keep track of exactly where a particular fossil was uncovered. Here, Museum paleontologist Michael Novacek pinpoints his location using a GPS device. Scientists also use images from other satellites to help identify possible fossil sites.

How do scientists study the latest dinosaur discoveries like this new species, named Bambiraptor? To understand organisms that lived millions of years ago, paleontologists rely on technologies only a few decades old. Using a CAT-scanner, Museum researchers examined Bambiraptor to learn more about this intriguing dinosaur.

A Sneak Peek

Researchers can peer inside fossils without breaking or slicing them thanks to advanced imaging technology like digital x-rays and CAT-scans. This digital scan of one of the bones in the skull that forms the bottom of the braincase was created using a CATscanner. Museum scientists used images like this one to reconstruct what Bambiraptor's brain looked like.