Scientists Digitally Dissect Fossil Spider

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. In this case, the technique enabled the researchers to identify the critter of Halloween past as a new species.


i-68507842136ab3bcd49ad726e5898b0a-spider Fossil2.jpg

More like this

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…
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.
... 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…

I'm so pumped about this technology finally being used on invertebrates! There is so much we can still learn about some of these ancient species.

By arachnophile (not verified) on 11 Nov 2007 #permalink