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X-ray microtomography in herpetological research: a review - Supplementary material

posted on 15.10.2018, 11:50 by Chris Broeckhoven, Anton du Plessis
Herpetological research, like any other (palaeo)biological science, relies heavily on accurate data collection, particularly visualisation and quantification of anatomical features. While several high-resolution imaging methods are currently available, one technique in particular, x-ray microtomography or micro-computed tomography, is on the verge of revolutionising our understanding of the morphology of amphibians and reptiles. Here, we present a review on the prevalence and trends of x-ray microtomography in herpetological studies carried out over the last two decades. We describe its current use, provide practical guidelines for future research that focusses on the morphological study of reptiles and amphibians, and highlight emerging trends including soft-tissue and in vivo scanning. Furthermore, while x-ray microtomography is a rapidly evolving field with great potential, various important drawbacks are associated with its use, including sample size effect and measurement errors resulting from differences in spatial resolution and preparation techniques. By providing recommendations to overcome these hurdles, we ultimately aim to maximise the benefits of x-ray microtomography to herpetological research.