IMAGES: To the Bone

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Science  14 Jul 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5784, pp. 151
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5784.151a

Digital Morphology from the University of Texas, Austin, serves as a virtual anatomy lab for students and allows researchers to analyze hard-to-find specimens. The site uses an x-ray computed tomography scanner to peek inside more than 500 animals, plants, and fossils. For instance, you can call up the skull of the world's largest hummingbird (Patagona gigas), which tips the scales at 24 grams. Three-dimensional movies let you spin and flip the skull to study it from different angles. You can also view it slice by slice to highlight internal details, or compare the hummingbird's feeding adaptations to those of another nectar-slurping bird. The site provides background on each species, details on the specimens, and other information.

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