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The Digital Morphology library is a dynamic archive of information on digital morphology and high-resolution X-ray computed tomography of biological specimens. Browse through the site and see spectacular imagery and animations and details on the morphology of many representatives of the Earth's biota. Recent additions or updates to the site include:

<i>Acrotholus audeti</i>, Pachycephalosaur
In the most recent issue of Nature Communications, Evans and coauthors describe a new taxon of pachycephalosaur, Acrotholus audeti, from the Santonian of Alberta, Canada. They argue that the diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs is underestimated, and that taphonomic biases obfuscate the paleoecology and diversity of vertebrate taxa throughout the Mesozoic. Learn more about this new pachycephalosaur -- whose name means 'highest dome' -- by seeing CT imagery of the holotype specimen and reading the DigiMorph account.  [more...] 
A Nose by Any Other Name…2013-03-16 07:40:40
A Nose by Any Other Name…
A recent paper by Giannini and coauthors examines the internal nasal skeleton of Pteropus lylei, Lyle's flying fox, and compares it to that of other well-known mammals. Detailed study of such delicate, three-dimensionally complex structures was not possible prior to the advent of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography. These researchers found that homologies between these bones -- called turbinals -- are relatively easy to establish across taxa, and thus may be usefully employed in phylogenetic analyses.  [more...] 
Razorbill Auk, Alca torda2012-12-05 16:05:35
Razorbill Auk, <i>Alca torda</i>
Charadriiformes is a species-rich, morphologically diverse, and ecologically variable clade of birds, so one might expect that the sensory systems of these birds would be highly variable also. A recent paper by N.A. Smith and J. Clarke examined their endocranial cavity and inner ear morphology and found that the relatively conserved morphology of charadriiform inner ear labyrinths is in stark contrast to the highly variable morphology of their brains. Additionally, this new CT-based research represents the most dense taxon sampling for a comparative endocranial study within Aves to date, and the first attempt at phylogenetically contextualizing potential endocranial apomorphies of an avian subclade.  [more...] 
Jurassic Chinese Turtles2012-10-16 09:40:06
Jurassic Chinese Turtles
In a new book chapter, Brinkman and coauthors describe the turtle fauna of the Jurassic Shishugou Formation of the Junggar Basin, northwestern China. Of the five species occurring there, two can be found on DigiMorph: Xinjiangchelys radiplicatoides and Annemys sp.). These species document early stages in the evolution of the eucryptodire basicranial region, and the diversity of turtles in the Shishugou Formation suggests an unusual paleoecology.  [more...] 
Eusphyra blochii, Winghead Shark2012-09-24 10:03:05
<i>Eusphyra blochii</i>, Winghead Shark
OK, so we missed Shark Week, but a bunch of hammerhead sharks are making their way to DigiMorph! The first to arrive is the weirdest of all -- the winghead shark, Eusphyra blochii -- whose head is as wide as half its body length! Why would such a bizarre morphology evolve? Learn about the different theories by reading the expert commentary by Kyle Mara of Temple University.  [more...] 
Evolution of the Penguin Brain2012-08-13 10:40:31
Evolution of the Penguin Brain
Penguins (Sphenisciformes) underwent significant postcranial morphological changes during their evolutionary transition from aerial flight to underwater flight, but little is known of how this transition affected their neurosensory systems. In the September issue of Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Daniel Ksepka and coauthors generated and compared virtual endocasts of the early Miocene stem penguin Paraptenodytes antarcticus (shown here) and three extant penguin species, as well as two outgroup species (Gavia immer and Diomedea immutabilis, both also on DigiMorph).  [more...] 
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