2020 年 108 巻 p. 3-10
The holotype of Taniwhasaurus mikasaensis (Squamata: Mosasauria) (MCM-M0009) is a partial skull and is registered as a Japan’s National Monument (JNM). Even though this specimen is one of the most famous vertebrate fossils in Japan, its JNM status renders it is very difficult to be handled by researchers, let alone museum visitors. At the same time, “heritage tourism” has attracted attention in museum activities in recent years. Consequently, we have worked on utilization of multimedia data of MCM-M0009 as a new way to introduce this iconic specimen to the public in a much more interactive setting. Of particular importance to be considered is the production cost of such multimedia data, for one, local museums typically operate on a tight budget. As such, this project was carried out with low-cost, readily available tools. The digital 3D model of MCM-M0009 was first generated using a movie application for a smart phone. With the resultant digital 3D model, a total of two downsized plastic models were then produced by a 3D printer for hands-on. Finally, an AR system was built. Anyone with a smart phone and/or an electronic tablet was able to use this system by connecting to the html site provided. We assessed an educational effect of the new multimedia components of Taniwhasaurus mikasaensis in a workshop in July 2019. Questionnaire results gathered from 11 examinees of hands-on models and AR viewing of T. mikasaensis indicated that the new multimedia applications garnered users’ interest only in paleontological aspects of the specimen, but also in most advanced imaging technology. Our result hence revealed that incorporation of multimedia technologies in museum activities had unexpected an interdisciplinary effects. Digital 3D data are deemed effective in preventing total losses of important specimens by disasters, for example, the locality of Utatsusaurus hataii damaged by 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.