Ancient spiders yield 3D secrets
Added: Tue, 04 Aug 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Shaun for the link.
Ancient fossilised, spider-like species have been imaged in 3D using thousands of X-ray scans and imaging software.
The two species, Cryptomartus hindi and Eophrynus prestvicii, lived 300 million years ago but are closely related to modern spiders.
The 3D images show that C. hindi grasped at prey with its front legs and E. prestivicii had defensive spikes on its back.
The results are published in the journal Biology Letters.
The 3D images were obtained by using a computed tomography scanner - a device that can take X-ray images from many angles.
Some 3,000 images of each fossil were obtained, and a custom software package developed at Imperial College London was used to assemble the images into a single, detailed, 3D virtual model of the creatures.
[Update]Longer article in Science Daily
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