The lab of Sharlene Santana has created Pocket Bats—a new outreach project using Augment, a free augmented reality app available on iPhone and Android devices, to make 3D digital models of bat skulls from Santana Lab research freely available to the public. You can now download and print pocket-sized Pocket Bat cards for a variety of fascinating species featuring charming portraits of bats by bat biologist Dr. M. Brock Fenton.
Using micro Computed Tomography (microCT) scans, the lab builds 3D digital replicas of bat skulls from the Burke Museum and other institutions. Most bat skulls are extremely small and delicate, so microCT scans allow us to measure features of their anatomy that are not otherwise possible, including structures inside the skull. The scans are a unique way to showcase the diversity of shapes in bat skulls and how muscles are organized in species with different diets.
The lab is sharing this project at teacher workshops, international research conferences, and at several museums, including the Burke Museum and the Museum of Flight.
Read the original article by postdocs Abigail Curtis and Jessica Arbour on the Burke Museum's website.
See the Santana Lab website for instructions to download your own Pocket Bats!