Welcome to the Amira-Avizo Software Use Case Gallery

Below you will find a collection of use cases of our 3D data visualization and analysis software. These use cases include scientific publications, articles, papers, posters, presentations or even videos that show how Amira-Avizo Software is used to address various scientific and industrial research topics.

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Ambient occlusion – A powerful algorithm to segment shell and skeletal intrapores in computed tomography data

Ambient occlusion – A powerful algorithm to segment shell and skeletal intrapores in computed tomography data

During the last decades, X-ray (micro-)computed tomography has gained increasing attention for the description of porous skeletal and shell structures of various organism groups. However, their quantitative analysis is often hampered by the difficulty to discriminate cavities and pores within the object from the surrounding region. Herein, we test the ambient occlusion (AO) algorithm and newly implemented optimisations for the segmentation of cavities (implemented in the software Amira). (... Read more

J. Titschack, D. Baum, K. Matsuyama, K. Boos, C. Farber, W.-A. Kahl, K. Ehrig, D. Meinel, C. Soriano, S.R. Stock

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Organism motility in an oxygenated shallow-marine environment 2.1 billion years ago

Organism motility in an oxygenated shallow-marine environment 2.1 billion years ago

Evidence for macroscopic life in the Paleoproterozoic Era comes from 1.8 billion-year-old (Ga) compression fossils [Han TM, Runnegar B (1992) Science 257:232–235; Knoll et al. (2006) Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 361:1023–1038],  Stirling biota [Bengtson S et al. (2007) Paleobiology 33:351–381], and large colonial organisms exhibiting signs of coordinated growth from the 2.1-Ga Francevillian series, Gabon. Here we report on pyritized string-shaped structures from... Read more

Abderrazak El Albani, M. Gabriela Mangano, Luis A. Buatois, Stefan Bengtson, Armelle Riboulleau, Andrey Bekker, Kurt Konhauser, Timothy Lyons, Claire Rollion-Bard, Olabode Bankole, Stellina Gwenaelle Lekele Baghekema, Alain Meunier, Alain Trentesaux, Arnaud Mazurier, Jeremie Aubineau, Claude Laforest, Claude Fontaine, Philippe Recourt, Ernest Chi Fru, Roberto Macchiarelli, Jean Yves Reynaud, François Gauthier-Lafaye, and Donald E. Canfield

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Pushing the limits of neutron tomography in palaeontology: Three-dimensional modelling of in situ resin within fossil plants

Pushing the limits of neutron tomography in palaeontology: Three-dimensional modelling of in situ resin within fossil plants

Computed tomography is an increasingly popular technique for the non-destructive study of fossils. Whilst the science of X-ray computed tomography (CT) has greatly matured since its first fossil applications in the early 1980s, the applications and limitations of neutron tomography (NT) remain relatively unexplored in palaeontology. These highest resolution neutron tomographic scans in palaeontology to date were conducted on a specimen of Austrosequoia novae-zeelandiae (Ettingshausen) Mays an... Read more

Chris Mays, Joseph J. Bevitt, and Jeffrey D. Stilwell

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Paleozoic Nymphal Wing Pads Support Dual Model of Insect Wing Origins

Paleozoic Nymphal Wing Pads Support Dual Model of Insect Wing Origins

The appearance of wings in insects, early in their evolution [1], has been one of the more critical innovations contributing to their extraordinary diversity. Despite the conspicuousness and importance of wings, the origin of these structures has been difficult to resolve and represented one of the “abominable mysteries” in evolutionary biology [2]. More than a century of debate has boiled the matter down to two competing alternatives—one of wings representing an extension of the thorac... Read more

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic and al.

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A virtual world of paleontology

A virtual world of paleontology

Computer-aided visualization and analysis has revolutionized the study of fossils. Fossils can now be characterized in three dimensions and in unprecedented detail. The resulting digital reconstructions can be used in rigorous functional analyses. Hypotheses regarding the function of extinct organisms can therefore be tested.

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Trends in Ecology & Evolution

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2 BILLION years old fossils appear to represent a first experiment in megascopic multicellularity

2 BILLION years old fossils appear to represent a first experiment in megascopic multicellularity

The Paleoproterozoic Era witnessed crucial steps in the evolution of Earth’s surface environments following the first appreciable rise of free atmospheric oxygen concentrations ∼2.3 to 2.1 Ga ago, and concomitant shallow ocean oxygenation. Combined microtomography, geochemistry, and sedimentary analysis suggest a biota fossilized during early diagenesis. The emergence of this biota follows a rise in atmospheric oxygen, which is consistent with the idea that surface oxygenation allowe... Read more

Abderrazak El Albani, Laboratoire HYDRASA, UMR 6269 CNRS-INSU, Université de Poitiers, France

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Under the armor: X-ray computed tomographic reconstruction of the internal skeleton of Coahomasuchus chathamensis (Archosauria: Aetosauria) from the Upper Triassic of North Carolina, USA, and a phylogenetic analysis of Aetosauria

Under the armor: X-ray computed tomographic reconstruction of the internal skeleton of Coahomasuchus chathamensis (Archosauria: Aetosauria) from the Upper Triassic of North Carolina, USA, and a phylogenetic analysis of Aetosauria

Aetosauria is a clade of heavily armored, quadrupedal omnivorous to herbivorous archosaurs known from the Late Triassic across what was the supercontinent of Pangea. Their abundance in many deposits relative to the paucity of other Triassic herbivores indicates that they were key components of Late Triassic ecosystems. However, their evolutionary relationships remain contentious due, in large part, to their extensive dermal armor, which often obstructs observation of internal skeletal anatomy... Read more

Devin K. Hoffman​, Andrew B. Heckert, Lindsay E. Zanno

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Microbial-tubeworm associations in a 440 million year old hydrothermal vent community

Microbial-tubeworm associations in a 440 million year old hydrothermal vent community

Microorganisms are the chief primary producers within present-day deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems, and play a fundamental role in shaping the ecology of these environments. (…) The oldest known hydrothermal vent community that includes metazoans is preserved within the Ordovician to early Silurian Yaman Kasy massive sulfide deposit, Ural Mountains, Russia. (…) A re-examination of these fossils using a range of microscopy, chemical analysis and nano-tomography techniques re... Read more

Magdalena N. Georgieva , Crispin T. S. Little , Russell J. Bailey , Alexander D. Ball and Adrian G. Glover

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Comparative Morphology of the Internal Nasal Skeleton of Adult Marsupials Based on X-ray Computed Tomography

Comparative Morphology of the Internal Nasal Skeleton of Adult Marsupials Based on X-ray Computed Tomography

The internal skeleton of the nasal cavity is sporadically and often incompletely described for many marsupial species and mammals in general. Here, I provide an anatomical survey of the ethmoid in the skulls of adult marsupials based on examination of computed tomography (CT) imagery of 29 taxa representing all the major extant groups of marsupials. (…) I compared ecological data with the number of ecto- and endoturbinals as a preliminary test to determine whether some of the interspec... Read more

Thomas E. Macrini

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Preservation of three-dimensional anatomy in phosphatized fossil arthropods enriches evolutionary inference

Preservation of three-dimensional anatomy in phosphatized fossil arthropods enriches evolutionary inference

External and internal morphological characters of extant and fossil organisms are crucial to establishing their systematic position, ecological role and evolutionary trends. (…) We found well-preserved three-dimensional anatomy in mineralized arthropods from Paleogene fissure fillings and demonstrate the value of these fossils by utilizing digitally reconstructed anatomical structure of a hister beetle. The new anatomical data facilitate a refinement of the species diagnosis and allowed... Read more

Achim H Schwermann, Tomy dos Santos Rolo, Michael S Caterino, Gunter Bechly, Heiko Schmied, Tilo Baumbach, Thomas van de Kamp

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University of York student wins Anatomical Society Best Image Prize using Amira-Avizo Software

University of York student wins Anatomical Society Best Image Prize using Amira-Avizo Software

PhD student Jesse Hennekam wins for his reconstruction of the skull of a giant dormouse.

A York PhD student has won a prestigious award for his work reconstructing the skull of a giant rodent.

Jesse Hennekam, from the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences at the Hull York Medical School, created a digital reconstruction of the skull of a gigantic dormouse (Leithia melitensis), which roamed on the island of Sicily during the Pleistocene, roughly 2 million years ago... Read more

Jesse Hennekam

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Spiny fruits revealed by nano-CT scanning: Pseudoanacardium peruvianum (Berry) gen. et comb. nov. from the early Oligocene Belén flora of Peru

Spiny fruits revealed by nano-CT scanning: Pseudoanacardium peruvianum (Berry) gen. et comb. nov. from the early Oligocene Belén flora of Peru

Fossil fruits formerly described as cashews from the Oligocene of Peru are reinvestigated based on the original specimens and newly collected materials. The recovery of an outer spiny layer, preserved in the sedimentary molds surrounding the locule casts, indicates that these disseminules do not represent Anacardium. Imagery from nano-CT scans of the specimens documents a distinctive morphology which does not resemble any fruits or seeds of Anacardiaceae. We describe the morphology in more de... Read more

STEVEN R. MANCHESTER, BEHNAZ BALMAKI

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3D virtual reconstruction of the Kebara 2 Neandertal thorax

3D virtual reconstruction of the Kebara 2 Neandertal thorax

The size and shape of the Neandertal thorax has been debated since the first discovery of Neandertal ribs more than 150 years ago, with workers proposing different interpretations ranging from a Neandertal thoracic morphology that is indistinguishable from modern humans, to one that was significantly different from them. Here, we provide a virtual 3D reconstruction of the thorax of the adult male Kebara 2 Neandertal. Our analyses reveal that the Kebara 2 thorax is significantly different but ... Read more

Asier Gomez-Olivencia, Alon Barash, Daniel Garcia-Martinez, Mikel Arlegi, Patricia Kramer, Markus Bastir, Ella Been

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Oldest skeleton of a fossil flying squirrel casts new light on the phylogeny of the group

Oldest skeleton of a fossil flying squirrel casts new light on the phylogeny of the group

Here we report the oldest fossil skeleton of a flying squirrel (11.6 Ma) that displays the gliding-related diagnostic features shared by extant forms and allows for a recalibration of the divergence time between tree and flying squirrels. Our phylogenetic analyses combining morphological and molecular data generally support older dates than previous molecular estimates (~23 Ma), being congruent with the inclusion of some of the earliest fossils (~36 Ma) into this clade. They also show that fl... Read more

Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Joan Garcia-Porta, Josep Fortuny, Oscar Sanisidro, Jerome Prieto, Marina Querejeta, Sergio Llacer, Josep M Robles, Federico Bernardini, David M Alba

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New omomyoids (Euprimates, Mammalia) from the late Uintan of southern California, USA, and the question of the extinction of the Paromomyidae (Plesiadapiformes, Primates)

New omomyoids (Euprimates, Mammalia) from the late Uintan of southern California, USA, and the question of the extinction of the Paromomyidae (Plesiadapiformes, Primates)

Paromomyidae has been thought to represent the longest-lived group of stem primates (plesiadapiforms), extending from the early Paleocene to late Eocene. We analyzed primate material from the late-middle Eocene of southern California that had initially been ascribed to cf. Phenacolemur shifrae. This material falls at the lowest end of the size range for the family. The Californian specimens also exhibit several dental features that are atypical for paromomyids, such as a strong paraconid on t... Read more

Sergi López-Torres, Mary T. Silcox, and Patricia A. Holroyd

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Allometry and integration do not strongly constrain beak shape evolution in large-billed (Corvus macrorhynchos) and carrion crows (Corvus corone)

Allometry and integration do not strongly constrain beak shape evolution in large-billed (Corvus macrorhynchos) and carrion crows (Corvus corone)

Here, to evaluate the intensity of evolutionary constraints on avian beak shape more appropriately, we selected large billed (Corvus macrorhynchos) and carrion crows (Corvus corone) as study objects. These landbird species seem to experience selection pressures favoring a departure from an allometric trajectory. A landmark based geometric morphometric approach using three dimensional reconstructions of CT scan images revealed that only 45.4% of the total shape variation was explained by allom... Read more

Takeshi Yamasaki, Sou Aoki, Masayoshi Tokita

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Digitizing extant bat diversity: An open-access repository of 3D μCT-scanned skulls for research and education

Digitizing extant bat diversity: An open-access repository of 3D μCT-scanned skulls for research and education

Biological specimens are primary records of organismal ecology and history. As such, museum collections are invaluable repositories for testing ecological and evolutionary hypotheses across the tree of life. Digitizing and broadly sharing the phenotypic data from these collections serves to expand the traditional reach of museums, enabling widespread data sharing, collaboration, and education at an unprecedented scale. In recent years, μCT-scanning has been adopted as one way for efficiently... Read more

Jeff J. Shi, Erin P. Westeen, Daniel L. Rabosky

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Over the rainbow? Micro-CT scanning to non-destructively study Roman and early medieval glass bead manufacture

Over the rainbow? Micro-CT scanning to non-destructively study Roman and early medieval glass bead manufacture

The usefulness of desktop Micro-CT scanners for the study of archaeological artefacts is demonstrated in a non-destructive study of manufacturing methods of Roman and Early Medieval monochrome and polychrome glass beads. Differences in glass colours show up in these scans as differences in attenuation. The presence and distribution of bubbles and various inclusions (metal, opacifier) are also well visible. Shaft shapes and patterns of bubbles inside the glass make it possible in most cases to... Read more

D.J.M.Ngan-Tillard, D.J.Huisman, F.Corbella, A.Van Nass

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A high-throughput, fully automated morphometric method to discover the genes controlling shape differences in the Faroese mice

A high-throughput, fully automated morphometric method to discover the genes controlling shape differences in the Faroese mice

The Faroe Islands are a group of islands in the North Atlantic that are known for its natural beauty, Viking culture and a special population of house mouse. The Faroese house mouse from the most remote island of the Faroese, Mykines (population: 10 people), looked so distinct when it was discovered that it was declared a subspecies, Mus musculus faeroenesis. These mice are large-bodied and showed an extreme form of left-right asymmetry in its skull. Our research group has... Read more

Yingguang Frank Chan, William H. Beluch, Rémi Blanc

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A method for deducing neck mobility in plesiosaurs, using the exceptionally preserved Nichollssaura borealis

A method for deducing neck mobility in plesiosaurs, using the exceptionally preserved Nichollssaura borealis

The elongate-necked aquatic plesiosaurs existed for 135 Myr during the Mesozoic. The function of this elongate neck is a point of debate. Using computed tomography and three-dimensional (3D) modelling, the range of motion (ROM) of the plesiosaur Nichollssaura borealis neck was assessed. To quantify the ROM, the intervertebral mobility was measured along the cervical vertebral column. This was done by manipulating the 3D models in the lateral and dorsoventral directions during two tri... Read more

Ramon S. Nagesan, Donald M. Henderson, Jason S. Anderson

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Convergent evolution of a mobile bony tongue in flighted dinosaurs and pterosaurs

Convergent evolution of a mobile bony tongue in flighted dinosaurs and pterosaurs

The tongue, with fleshy, muscular, and bony components, is an innovation of the earliest land-dwelling vertebrates with key functions in both feeding and respiration. Here, we bring together evidence from preserved hyoid elements from dinosaurs and outgroup archosaurs, including pterosaurs, with enhanced contrast x-ray computed tomography data from extant taxa. Midline ossification is a key component of the origin of an avian hyoid. The elaboration of the avian tongue includes the evolution o... Read more

Zhiheng Li, Zhonghe Zhou, Julia A. Clarke

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