Prehistoric wasp, 3-D CT scan

Prehistoric wasp, 3-D CT scan

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This image is part of the feature 21st Century Machine Shines Light Onto A Fossil World


Caption: Prehistoric wasp, coloured 3-D computed tomography (CT) image. This model of a prehistoric wasp (family Falciformicidae) is based on a specimen that was found trapped in 100 million-year-old opaque amber (fossilised conifer plant resin) from the Charente-Maritime region in France. The amber was X-rayed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The X-rays produced here are one thousand billion times brighter than hospital X-rays. The sample was scanned at multiple angles to create virtual 'slices' which were reconstructed into 3-D computer models. The wasp measures 5 millimetres in length.

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