June 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 12)


Strong Points: Nice 3D renderings, background information provided
Weak Points: Types of renderings differ across specimens


Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to observe animal skeletons in a museum, but you haven’t really explored skulls and skeletons until you’ve visited the website for the Digital Morphology library, part of the National Science Foundation Digital Libraries initiative. The Digital Morphology website presents a large collection of 2D and 3D visualizations of vertebrate and invertebrate structures that were collected by X-ray computed tomographic (X-ray CT) scanning. The specimen collection contains not only animals that are living today, but also extinct animals. (So here’s your chance to finally explore the skull of a Jurassic Chinese turtle!) For each specimen one will find a description of the species, information about the imaged specimen (including information about the scan), a list of relevant literature citations, and additional images (when available). Each specimen is accompanied by some combination of slice movies, surface models, skeleton-only or skeleton-with-skin 3D volume rendered movies, and dynamic cutaway image sequences, all of which are fascinating to view.

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