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The ALPA Log

ALPA 12 FPS in Digital Heritage (South Africa)

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David Larsen and South African natural history researcher Thembeka Nxele working with the ALPA 12 FPS.

December 10, 2016
Alpa Reflex Model 6b

By David Larsen: "For three months in the middle of this year I had the amazing privilege of looking closer at natural history collections than I had ever looked before. I and my colleagues were able to see mind-expanding detail on the creatures – the hairs on the legs of a fly or the scratches on the exoskeleton of a beetle. Yet nothing quite prepared us for Thembeka Nxele’s excitement at what we were uncovering.Thembeka is a World authority on African earthworms. She is based at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum. We were capturing the internal sexual organs of earthworms, a procedure which involves peeling open the skin of the earthworm and getting a view inside its “head”.Thembeka was looking over my shoulder at our large Eizo monitor. She had asked me to zoom into a particular area of the image. As we zoomed in to the fine detail, suddenly Thembeka became so excited she was dancing on the spot. When she had calmed down a little, she explained what we were looking at. What we were seeing clearly in the image, what looked like tiny little coils attached to the body wall of the specimen, were sexual organs that in all her years of research she had never actually seen with her own eyes.She had only seen them in textbooks and published articles by colleagues from other parts of the World. She went on to explain the significance of this for her work. “Now I can publish the paper I have been preparing, because I have the evidence,” she said, referring to putting forward an article on her research to scientific journals."Do not miss to have a look at David's links below for the full story on the works for the natural history collection as well as his work with the ALPA 12 FPS: "Unprecedented Versatility – The Alpa 12 FPS Technical Camera".LinksCapturing the Fine Detail in Natural History CollectionsUnprecedented Versatility – The Alpa 12 FPS Technical CameraContacting Africa Online Media / David Larsen by e-mail

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