Through X-Ray Computer Tomography (CT), scientists are able to create highly-detailed 3D models of fossils.
The technology has vastly increased the range of samples that can be studied and the information gleaned from them. Many fossils are just too intricate or delicate to be separated physically from the surrounding rock. Even Ida’s beautifully prepared skeleton could not reveal crucial information about her growth and development. For this, the researchers needed to study individual teeth, which would have required destroying the skull.