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an exact reproduction in plaster of paris, wax, or papiermâché of some object. It is usually painted and serves primarily as a visual aid. For example, there are casts of fruits and fish, as well as of normal or pathologically altered organs or parts of the body. Casts are either taken from the object itself or executed by hand according to measurements.
Examples of casts include death masks, reproductions of the hand of a famous musician, and copies of a classical work of sculpture for teaching purposes (hence the phrase, cast studios).
in paleontology, an imprint that remains in sedimentary rock after the dissolution and decomposition of plants or the bodies or skeletons of animals. Casts have been found of mollusk shells, fish skeletons, jellyfish, leaves, stems, and seeds. Impressions of a whole body, especially of a skeletonless animal, are rarely preserved. (SeeFOSSIL REMAINS OF ORGANISMS.)
in art, a reproduction of a sculpture, an object of applied art, or some other art object obtained by taking a hard or soft mold of the original and casting a duplicate in plaster of paris, a synthetic material, or some other material. Hard molds may be made from plaster of paris, and soft molds from wax or plastic. Casts are used in museum exhibits, in restoration work, and as an aid in teaching art.
in paleontology, a type of fossilization of plants and animals in which the actual organic remains, for example, a shell or stem, have disappeared through oxidation or leaching, and the resulting cavity has become filled with sediment. Frequently, the imprint of fine external details may be seen on the surface of a cast. Some parts of the organism may be preserved inside a cast.
The term “cast” is also used to designate an artificial reproduction of a fossil from gypsum or synthetic materials.