JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Virtual fossil. Three-dimensional computer model of a fossilized mollusc (Acaenoplax hayae). The original specimen could not be extracted from the surrounding rock without destroying it. The model was created by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Bristol and Leicester, using repeated fine grinding to reveal the structure. This vermiform (worm-like) mollusc was fossilized about 425 million years ago, during the Silurian period. It is thought to belong to the order Aplacophora. Like this specimen, modern aplacophorans often have slender spines (setae). Such delicate features were well preserved due to the animal's entombment in volcanic ash.
Model release not required. Property release not required.