-- Cyprus 3D reptiles --



Digitizing Wildlife: The case of reptiles 3D virtual museum

Savvas Zotos, Marilena Lemonari, Michael Konstantinou, Anastasios Yiannakidis, Georgios Pappas, Panayiotis Kyriakou, Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis, Andreas Aristidou.

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, May 2022.

In this paper we design and develop a 3D virtual museum with holistic metadata documentation and a variety of reptile behaviors and movements. First, we reconstruct the reptiles mesh in high resolution, and then create its rigged/skinned digital counterpart. We acquire the movement of two subjects using an optical motion capture system, accelerometers, and RGB-vision cameras; these movements are then segmented and annotated to various behaviors. The 3D environment, VR and AR functionalities of our online repository serve as tools for interactively educating the public on animals, which are difficult to observe and study in their natural environment. It also reveals important information regarding animals' intangible characteristics (e.g., behavior), that is critical for the preservation of wildlife. Our museum is publicly accessible, enabling motion data reusability, and facilitating learning applications through gamification. We conducted a user study that confirms the naturalness and realism of our reptiles, along with the ease of use and usefulness of our museum.

[Paper] [video]
New Evidence on the Distribution of the Highly Endangered Natrix natrix cypriaca and Implications for Its Conservation

Savvas Zotos, Marilena Stamatiou, Andrea Naziri, Sotiris Meletiou, Stalo Demosthenous, Konstantinos Perikleous, Elena Erotokritou, Marina Xenophontos, Despo Zavrou, Kyriaki Michael, Lefkios Sergides.

Animals, 11(4), 1077, April 2021.

The Cyprus grass snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) is a critically endangered subspecies, endemic to the island of Cyprus. The species can be found in areas mainly related to water (lakes, dams and rivers), that are protected under the Natura 2000 network. Recently volunteers reported sightings of the species outside of its currently known distribution. To address those reports and investigate the possible presence of the species outside its distribution, a rapid survey approach was designed and implemented. The survey provided evidence on several sightings outside of the species’ distribution, identifying new localities for the first time in 25 years and highlighting the importance of sparse springs within systems of ephemeral streams for the species population. This exciting discovery brings new opportunities and responsibilities regarding the conservation of the species. We are proposing targeted conservation actions and stress the importance of expanding the research on this critically endangered subspecies, based on current findings.

Devices and Methods for Rapid 3D Photo-Capture and Photogrammetry of Small Reptiles and Amphibians in the Laboratory and the Field

Duncan J.Irschick, Zachary Corriveau, Trevor Mayhan, Cameron Siler, Mark Mandica, Tony Gamble, Johnson Martin, Jer Bot, Savvas Zotos.

Herpetological Review, 51(4), 716–725, December 2020.

Because of the importance of specimen identification, and for establishing protocols for new species boundaries, novel methods and tools for identifying and sharing specimen data for vertebrate organisms, particularly amphibians and reptiles, is an important aim for taxonomists. Here, we describe novel tools and techniques for the creation of 3D models of live reptiles and amphibians, both in wild settings in the field and in the laboratory.