‘Virtual paleontology' entails the use of computational methods to assist in the three-dimensional (3-D) visualization and analysis of fossils, and has emerged as a powerful approach for research on the history of life. Three-dimensional imaging techniques allow poorly understood or previously unknown anatomies of fossil plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, as well as microfossils and trace fossils, to be described in much greater detail than formerly possible, and are applicable to a wide range of preservation types and specimen sizes (Table 1). These methods include non-destructive high-resolution scanning technologies such as conventional X-ray micro-tomography and synchrotron-based X-ray...

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