Holding Clues to Our Past

Species that roamed our planet eons ago ...

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X-raying fossilized bones can reveal information not only about creatures from the past, but possibly our future.

EuropeX-raying artifacts like this fossilized sample of dinosaur shoulder armor can reveal information not only about creatures that roamed our planet millennia ago, but also about those living on it now and in years to come.

To understand what happens in the worlds of today and tomorrow requires studying yesterday. In Oswego's Global Laboratory, this can mean looking way back -- long before the beginning of civilization.

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Students can meet their distant ancestors and probe pathological problems at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Under the expert tutelage of Neil Gostling of Oswego's biological sciences faculty, students can use CT scans to better understand the early evolution of mammals, from information learned from examinging the skull of the ancient Morganucodon ohleri.

Left: Artist rendering of a pterosaur in flight.

Additional scanning techniques also examine preserved pterosaur remains to gain more understanding of this extinct group of vertebrates. Through this advanced work, the past literally comes to life and informs current research.

pterosaurLearning more about evolutionary forerunners can help students understand where humanity came from, and examining similarities and differences among many species can provide knowledge about where we are going -- as a society and as a planet. Oswego's Global Laboratory seeks answers that span time and space.

Right: 3D reconstructions produced by CT scans of pterosaur skulls tells us much about the the lives and times and anatomy of creatures that once roamed the planet.