20 Million Year Old Gecko in Amber : 2012

Photograph by

Farah Ahmed

About this image

3D reconstructions of a gecko found preserved in amber, imaged using X-rays in a micro-CT scanner. The CT technology uses fine beams of X-rays to take a virtual ‘slice’ of the sample – many such slices are then stacked together to make a 3D model. By careful computer processing, the bones are easily made visible. Because the specimen was preserved in amber, there is an air space which the soft tissues used to fill. The CT software is able to map this interior surface, effectively replicating the skin of the gecko. This specimen was found in the Dominican Republic and dates to about 20 million years ago. The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom