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Fossilised feather, 3-D computer image

Fossilised feather, 3-D computer image

E445/0329

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Credit

PAUL TAFFOREAU / ESRF / PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL TAFFOREAU / ESRF / PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fossilised feather, coloured 3-D computed tomography (CT) image. This computer model is based on a feather found in a 100-million-year-old piece of amber (fossilised resin from prehistoric coniferous plants) from the Charente-Maritime region of France. The feather is composed of barbsthat only partially fuse to form the rachis. This compares to modern birds, which have a completely fused rachis. It may have originated from a primitive bird or a feathered dinosaur, and became trapped when the amber was a sticky fluid. The original sample was x-rayed in 2008 at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The ESRF x-rays are fired at multiple angles to create virtual slices that can be reconstructed into a 3-D computer models.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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