The Florida Museum of Natural History has posted more than 13,000 3D models of vertebrates online, free for anyone to view, download, and even 3D print. 

Digitized with CT scanning, each model captures an incredible level of detail about the animals’ final moments, from their skeletons and internal organs to what they had in their stomachs. The dataset includes various backboned animals including turtles, pythons, seals, and more. 

Though open to all, the openVertebrate or ‘oVert’ project is primarily designed to provide access to previously offline museum exhibits for scientists, students, and educators.

With this in mind, the scans are being made available in two formats: as raw tomography data, and slice files for 3D rendering, modeling, and ultimately close examination. 

It’s hoped that one day the 3D models – covering more than 80% of all vertebrate genera – can be used as a reference for further discoveries. 

“The models give an intimate look at internal portions of a specimen that could previously only be observed through destructive dissection and tissue sampling,” the museum said in a statement. “These new media will provide unprecedented global access to valuable specimens in museum collections and enhance the research value of existing data-rich specimens.”
Even if you’re not a researcher, it could also be fun to discover more about the animal world by 3D printing them. Interested? You can access the oVert vertebrate models here.

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