Deiss Trilobite Plastotypes Collection
The IU Paleontology Collection holds world-renowned segments of collection; one of them is the Deiss trilobite plastotype collection. The plastotypes were cast directly from Cambrian age trilobite type specimens gathered from museums around the world in the 1950’s, where a type specimen is a specimen that is originally referred to when the species is first named. The collection assembled by Charles F. Deiss consists of 300 trilobite plastotypes representing some very rare genera.
The diversity of trilobites during the Cambrian age provides valuable relational information for organism ecology and evolutionary patterns to their environment beyond the timescale of humanity. However, studies of Cambrian system trilobites to-date are either restricted to limited geography area or lack of larger range of species covered. This project will allow scientist to better understand the relationship of the ancient animals in the same time period more extensively.
The collection plastotypes currently has been digitized in photograph format and soon will be digitized in obj image format for high precision three-dimensional scans. This project will be a collaborative work in between the research curators, who are also paleontologists and professors concurrently, with different specializations in evolutionary paleontology, paleoecology, paleoclimates, phylogeny, functional morphology, taphonomy, biostratigraphy and biogeography, a collection manager with extensive experience in mollusc paleobiology, IUB Libraries, and UITS Research Technologies.