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Drones Are Helping Scientists Uncover New Data about Dinosaurs
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being put to work in thousands of ways today, helping businesses to expand, and expanding our access to accurate information in a wide range of industries and disciplines. Scientists are also embracing these versatile machines, using them to collect large volumes of data from even the most remote location, allowing them to learn more and make important discoveries. Even paleontologists are making use of the technology as they search for prehistoric animals, dinosaurs, and plant life.
Following in the Footsteps of Dinosaurs
UAV’s, more commonly called drones, have been used for surveying and mapping for quite some time, and that same technology is what scientists are now taking advantage of in the search for dinosaurs. Drones carrying high-resolution cameras and laser scanners survey the land, documenting terrain down to the size of small stones, and this detailed data allows scientists to get an accurate picture of the geology of an area.
These high-tech cameras and sensors have also found other details on the land, including fossil evidence of dinosaur footprints and even exposed skeletal fossils. The result is that scientists can create 3D models of an area where trace evidence of dinosaurs has been found, enhancing the resolution and making it easier to track footprints.
Exploring and Identifying
Scientists in northern Australia are already doing this, utilizing the latest drone technology to map a “dinosaur highway” running along the coast of the Indian Ocean. Ordinarily, dinosaur tracks are collected with simple photography and hand-drawn outlines, a time-consuming process. This large grouping of tracks also lay mostly underwater, making them nearly impossible to document manually.
By using drones, scientists capture high-resolution images, and together with the laser measurements of the terrain, have built high fidelity 3D models of the footprints, including those underwater. The great detail of the prints even allows scientists to determine what type of dinosaur may have made them, if it was injured or deformed based on its gait, and even whether it is a dinosaur track at all.
Beyond the information about dinosaurs themselves, scientists can also learn a great deal from the detailed analysis of the terrain, uncovering the ecology of the region at that time, as well as other types of animals that may have been living side-by-side with the dinosaurs.
Protecting Your Drone
Scientific research can be dangerous, though it mostly depends on where you are at the time. For a drone, danger can mean anything from inclement weather to collisions with birds or other wildlife, to malfunctions of the technology itself. Whether you are searching for dinosaurs on the coast of Australia, or the plains of Mongolia, or the mountains of North America, you’ll want to ensure your drone is protected with a comprehensive drone insurance policy. Drone insurance is still growing and changing, and as the insurance industry learns more about drone functions, and as drone use expands, drone insurance will continue to adapt to cover damage done to or by your drone.
Drones are enabling scientists around the world to explore further, document with greater detail, and continue to expand our knowledge of our world and our past. These advanced machines are taking us into high-risk areas, remote locations — even under the sea — and helping us to reveal even more about prehistoric creatures, including dinosaurs of every kind.
Poms & Associates provides brokerage services and consultation for business insurance needs. We offer up-to-date information on commercial general liability insurance policies, as well as add-on coverage such as drone insurance. For more on how we at Poms & Associates can help you to choose the right drone insurance coverage to suit your business needs, please visit our website or contact us.
Gabriella Messina is an author who has written online content for a variety of business and insurance related topics, including business insurance basics, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and malpractice.