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JPT Nº17

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Paleontological research is often based on reconstructions (Benton, 2005). Initial descriptions of new species or specimens often include photographs or line drawings of the actual fossils, made by the paleontologist. In a further step, reconstructions can be produced, often together with an artist, by adding missing parts and restoring deformed portions. Reconstructions like these are more clear and appealing, because they omit information that might be confusing at first sight.

Generally, the paleoartist is not a paleontologist, and does not have the necessary knowledge about the extinct animals and environments he or she must portray (Ghilardi and Ribeiro, 2010). In order to prepare an accurate paleoreconstruction, it is thus important that the basic scientific data is compiled and simplified by the paleontologist supervising the work. Without a solid scientific knowledge the paleoartist will support him- or herself on deduction, and the artwork will be less consistent and could be more erroneous (Ghilardi et al., 2007) and, therefore, lead to mistakes.





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