ASSESSING 3D PHOTOGRAMMETRY TECHNIQUES IN CRANIOMETRICS
Keywords: 3D Modelling, Arctocephalus, Craniometrics, Fur Seal, Photogrammetry, Photomodeler, Photomodelling, Research Techniques
Abstract. Morphometrics (the measurement of morphological features) has been revolutionized by the creation of new techniques to study how organismal shape co-varies with several factors such as ecophenotypy. Ecophenotypy refers to the divergence of phenotypes due to developmental changes induced by local environmental conditions, producing distinct ecophenotypes. None of the techniques hitherto utilized could explicitly address organismal shape in a complete biological form, i.e. three-dimensionally. This study investigates the use of the commercial software, Photomodeler Scanner® (PMSc®) three-dimensional (3D) modelling software to produce accurate and high-resolution 3D models. Henceforth, the modelling of Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) skulls which could allow for 3D measurements. Using this method, sixteen accurate 3D skull models were produced and five metrics were determined. The 3D linear measurements were compared to measurements taken manually with a digital caliper. In addition, repetitive measurements were recorded by varying researchers to determine repeatability. To allow for comparison straight line measurements were taken with the software, assuming that close accord with all manually measured features would illustrate the model’s accurate replication of reality. Measurements were not significantly different demonstrating that realistic 3D skull models can be successfully produced to provide a consistent basis for craniometrics, with the additional benefit of allowing non-linear measurements if required.