Digital Atlas of the Skeleton of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can lead a revolution for a renewed role of the popular science museums (such as PCR revolution was and the isolation of ancient DNA). The digital atlas of the skeleton of the Iberian lynx is a project aimed to be an indispensable complement for natural history museums (as a part of a large project The Virtual Museum of Life), with a wide range of applications in many other areas such as teaching and research, where the use of 3D models may improve access and visibility of the study objects.
This Atlas is currently available in two formats: DVD and Web (http://www.thevirtualmuseumoflife.com/lynx/). Every bone of an adult Iberian Lynx has been serial photographed, measured and processed to be observe in 360º view. The Iberian Lynx skeleton belongs to the scientific vertebrate collections of the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC, Seville, Spain). The user can select a bone on the skeleton scheme for detailed visualization and zoom on it in a 360º view. It is also possible to compare among several bones, watching them simultaneously. There are also measurements of each bone, as well as the position of the selected landmarks. The access menu is user-friendly, with many different options and levels of information, making this digital atlas of the skeleton of the Iberian lynx an innovative tool that can be useful in university teaching (comparative anatomy, paleozoology, evolution, etc.), research (bones measuring) and scientific divulgation of our natural heritage, where the conservation of threatened species such as the Iberian lynx needs a detailed understanding of all aspects of the biology of this cat species.