This project assessed the value of wax casting, digital modelling and photogrammetry to model and measure a Varanus sp. digging. European honeybee wax proved to be a versatile and practical medium for casting the digging as it was robust to transportation, required no added liquid or onsite preparation and was easily melted and poured. Although solid, the resulting cast was not brittle and was not damaged during excavation, transportation and measurement. The volume of the cast was quickly and easily determined via weighing, fluid displacement and photogrammetry and the three volume measures varied by only 3%. The primary value of the cast was that it could be inverted and placed under a good light source for close examination, measurement and photography. The digital model of the digging was visually detailed and instantaneously showed measurements, including volume, surface area and maximum length, width and depth. Mechanical and photogrammetric linear measurements made on the surface of the cast and digital model were statistically identical. The principal cost of the digital modelling was the time required to learn to use the software and complete the modelling (42.5 hours). Therefore, this technique may only be feasible for studies of close range morphology or where parameters that can not otherwise be easily obtained, such as surface area and contours, are required.

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