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Are Mammoths to Appear on Metaverse? Yes, It’s Happening!

Let’s walk with the Woolly Mammoth and other ice age animals in the metaverse with AR.

The creatures would be the most scientifically accurate depiction of virtual avatars. Scientists are in the works to revive the Woolly Mammoth in the metaverse. Researchers at the La Brea Tar Pits and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California (USC) are collaborating to give life to the now extinct exotic paleoart animals through augmented reality.


The Woolly Mammoth in the Metaverse

The Palaeontologia Electronica journal published that the researchers have produced scientifically accurate virtual models of the Ice Age animals. The whole research is a work of Paleoart. Paleoart can be very influential in how the public, and even scientists, understand fossil life.  A lot of paleoart is treated as an afterthought, though, and not subjected to the same rigorous scrutiny as other scientific research. This can lead to particularly bad reconstructions of extinct animals being propagated for generations in both the popular media and academic publications.

The team is investigating how augmented reality impacts learning in museums but soon realized there weren’t any accurate Ice Age animals in the metaverse yet that they could use. So, they took all the latest paleontological research and made their own. The researchers have designed 13 novel paleoart digitally. The models were built in a blocky, low poly style so that they could be scientifically accurate, but still simple enough to run on normal cell phones with limited processing power.

The characters have been intentionally created in low resolution as such parameters require simpler technical processing to run on phones and allow room for feature refinement as scientists continue to unearth more and more fossil data over time.

However, during the research, Swartout and his colleagues realise that there were no true life-like designs based on hard paleontological evidence. Instead, many reconstructions of extinct animals have not received rigorous scrutiny in popular and scientific media, the team explained, compromising their scientific accuracy. But paleoart is a crucial part of paleontological research.