Digital dissection of a 53 million year-old spider

European reseasrchers, led by David Penny of the University of Manchester, have used a medical imaging technique called Very High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography to digitally dissect and reconstruct a 1mm-long 53 million-year-old spider that is preserved in a piece of amber.

The pictures, and some links, are below.


Read more at ScienceDaily and the BBC, and see this post for more about the amazing arachnids.

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Using a technique called very high-resolution x-ray computed tomography, researchers at the University of Manchester dissected a 50 million year old spider encased in amber. As reported in Zootaxa, leveraging the same technology used in CAT scans, it can make out features the width of a human hair…
... Oh, wait. brought back to life "in stunning 3D by a scientist at The University of Manchester." I hate those press release writers... This is actually fairly cool despite the fact that no actual spiders were actually brought back to life. Very High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography (VHR-CT…
Maybe it's just me, but I see beauty in this. Scientists at the University of Manchester have created high resolution images of a 49 million year old spider encapsulated in fossilized amber resin using X-ray computed tomography, typically used in medical imaging. If the still image doesn't…
This is so cool. A one-millimeter long spider (Cenotextricella simoni) encased in amber gets "digitally dissected" using Very High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography. The paper is online in Zootaxa 1623:47-53 but requires a subscription.

almost makes me wish I had preferred paleontology instead of petrology ;) incredible tools at hand. I remember many years ago, some researchers using x-ray tomography to study pyrite preserved fossils in a fine grained shale, the morphology of many different animals that lived in/on the mud was preserved, and on a lucky occasions, internal features would come out in the tomographs, NOTHING like this though, fascinating.