ResearchPublications / Presentations paleontology is the ability to "bring to life" some peculiar animal from Earth's past. The limbs of arthropods are magnificently intricate mechanisms comprised of segments connected with simple hinge joints. The total range of motion these limbs can exercise is achieved through the arrangement of the joint axes, which are rarely at right angles. Analyzing these joints should reveal the capabilities of the limbs, which might reveal the kinds of things the animals were eating.
The problem with fossils is they don't move like they used to... Hence, the computer approach. By making computer wireframe models of the first, clawed limbs, we can then explore the range of motion of these limbs in a sort of "paleo-virtual-reality."