Thomas L. Adams

SMU contributes fossils, expertise to new Perot Museum in ongoing scientific collaboration

From dinosaurs to sea turtles, and from technical assistance to advisory roles, SMU faculty and students, the SMU Shuler Museum, and the SMU Innovation Gymnasium, team with the nation’s new premier museum of nature and science.

Fossils on loan by SMU to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science include those of animals from an ancient sea that once covered Dallas. Continue reading

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Dallas Morning News: Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan

gavial%2C%20istock%20220x165.jpgDallas Morning News reporter Marc Ramirez has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

The story, “‘Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan,” published in the Tuesday, July 20 edition of the Dallas Morning News. Continue reading

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Daily Mail: Meet the 25 ft prehistoric Texas crocodile who lived 100 million years ago

gavial%2C%20istock%20220x165.jpgLondon Daily Mail reporter Mark Duell has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

The story, “‘Its fossil looked like a loaf of bread from Subway’: Meet the 25ft prehistoric Texas crocodile who lived 100 MILLION years ago,” published in the Sunday, July 17 edition of the Daily Mail.
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New Texas Native: 96-million-year-old crocodile Terminonaris makes its first appearance in Texas, switches origins

Gharial-snout-400x300.jpgMaking its first appearance in Texas, a prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe now appears to have been a native of the Lone Star State.

The switch in origins for the genus known as Terminonaris is based on the identification of a well-preserved, narrow fossil snout that was discovered along the shoreline of a lake near Dallas. SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams identified the reptile.
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Earth magazine: “Mapping Dino Footprints in 3-D”

Earth%2C%20TAdams%2C%203D%2C%20May%202011.jpgThe May 2011 issue of Earth Magazine reports on the research of SMU paleontologists in the SMU Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

In a project led by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, the scientists used portable laser scanning technology to capture field data of a huge 110 million-year-old Texas dinosaur track and then create to scale an exact 3D facsimile.

They have shared their protocol and findings with the public — as well as their downloadable 145-megabyte model — in the online scientific journal Palaeontologia Electronica. The model duplicates an actual dinosaur footprint fossil that is slowly being destroyed by weathering because it’s on permanent outdoor display, says Adams.
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3D digital download of giant Glen Rose dinosaur track is roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources

bandstand.jpg
Internet users now can download an exact facsimile of the huge fossil footprint of a 110 million-year-old dinosaur that is a favorite track from Texas’ well-known Dinosaur Valley State Park.

SMU scientists created the digital facsimile using 3D laser technology and are making it available free to the public. The model preserves a footprint on permanent outdoor display that’s being destroyed by weathering, says SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams.
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Portable 3D laser technology preserves Texas dinosaur’s rare footprint

Original%20track%2CT.Adams.jpg Using portable 3D laser technology, scientists have preserved electronically a rare 110 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur footprint that was previously excavated and built into the wall of a bandstand at a Texas courthouse in the 1930s.

The laser image preserves what is called a “type specimen” footprint — an original track used many years ago to describe a new species of dinosaur, says paleontologist Thomas L. Adams at SMU.

Portable 3D laser scanners capture original fossil morphology and texture, making it possible to use the data for rapid 3D prototyping in foam or resin, Adams says.

“The track is scientifically very important,” says Adams. “But it’s also a historical and cultural icon for Texas.”
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