Characterization of limpet shells using 3D scans
Limpets are bioindicators of their environment as their growth patterns and physical attributes are related to the conditions in their surroundings. Limpet shell attributes, such as shell volume, length, height, width and thickness, provide an indication of the limpet’s environmental conditions, as the animal spends its resources accordingly to either grow and/or to strengthen its shell, or how the shell is weathered. This research focuses on determining the physical attributes of limpet shells obtained from Hawaii to provide an accurate tool for scientists to compare different shell characteristics within and across multiple shell locations. Multiple physical measures are captured through 3D scanning data and computations through the MATLAB programming tool. These measurements include inner shell volume, outer shell volume, solid shell volume, major axis, minor axis, height, peak shift, and surface area. The 3D measurements are compared to physical measurements, when feasible. For example, solid shell volume is measured using water displacement method. Major and minor axes as well as height are also measured with a ruler for comparison. The characteristics of the shells collected from two different locations, one from Makalawena and the other from Puanwi are presented. The listed physical attributes of the limpet shells are analyzed to establish correlations between the region where the animal grows and the shell characteristics themselves. The focus of this presentation is the development of the engineering tool that is capable of 3D measurements with high accuracy to achieve the scientific goals of the project.