For the first time, things were getting quite stressful. Originally the plan was that I would be finished with the image collection by the start of the final week so I could complete the measurements before I going to India. However, I had only collected half of the images I needed to. This was not because I was being lazy but more so to do with how I naturally work. I usually take my time with my work and when the task was to sift through seemingly hundreds of papers to find on average 5-6 images per species it took longer than I expected. Moreover, overtime the names of the species and specimen number can change so a paper in 1920 of a species could be different to the present day.
An additional problem was with the mandible. Most of the traits I would measure were related to the mandible but while I was collecting the images there were quite a few specimens that did not have a mandible. Particularly, a dorsal view of the mandible which was needed in order to measure the extent of propaliny.
I had to accept that I would not get onto the measurements during the final week so I told my supervisors about the delay and expected them to be worried that I would not finish my project. But to my surprise they accepted it without a problem and Professor Benton was even able to extend my internship to the end of September meaning I would have a few extra weeks after coming back from my holiday. This did ease my tensions and I was able to solve my concerns about propaliny measurements by consulting with Professor Rayfield who said I could use lateral views of mandible instead.
Problems with some skull traits
Nevertheless, mentally it was getting tiring. Spending long hours in front of a computer screen searching for images was starting to take its toll but fortunately I was getting quicker at it. And finally by the end of the week I had finished with my image collection but looking at the type of images I had collected made me realise certain traits could be a problem to measure.
For example, I thought calculating the mechanical advantage would be difficult since I could not figure out what references in the skull I could use to make the measurements needed for the calculation. This meant that during my holiday I had to look at the literature and see if I could find any features in the skull that I could use as a reference for the beginning and end for the measurements. However, I had another five weeks to do that so I wasn’t too worried and was ready to go on my holiday.