Watching a Caterpillar Transform into a Butterfly Using Three Dimensional X-Ray Imaging

#Animals

Fri, May 31st, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Fast CoExist website brings to attention this video by Ed Yong showcasing the process of metamorphosis up close using three dimensional X-ray imaging.

[...] what’s actually going on inside the cocoon? Typically, scientists have had to dissect them to find out, killing the organism inside as a result, a casualty of scientific inquiry. Another problem with cutting the cocoon to see what’s inside: it only gives the research access to a single moment in the caterpillar’s development, an Instagrammed moment as opposed to a Vine of metamorphosis.

Recent progress in 3-D scanning, however, now lets scientists examine the entire transformation of a single caterpillar. According to National Geographic's Ed Yong, that technique is called "micro-CT, in which X-rays capture cross-sections of an object that can be combined into a three-dimensional virtual model."

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