Peer Inside the X-Ray Scan of a Creature Millions of Years Old

By Jamie Condliffe on at

How do you work out if a fossilised creature originally sank or swam? You create a complex 3D model of its stricture using X-rays is how.

This image shows a 3D model of an ammonite, which was a kind of creature that lived in the sea up to 65 million years ago. This model was created using a series of those X-ray scans by René Hoffmann from Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. From these, he calculated the likely weight and volume of the creature, comparing the measurements to other animals that still grace our planet. His findings suggest that young ammonites, with 11 chambers, could float — though he's yet to confirm what became of the adults. [New Scientist]

Image by Damian Gorczany