Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Derstler, Kraig L.; Serpa, Laura


In the past, radiographs (x-ray "shadowgraphs") have been used by paleontologists as ways to identify and capture bone images. Primarily, this was done to examine the skeletal elements without having to remove the surrounding matrix. Radiographs have so much three-dimensional information compressed onto a two-dimension image that it is often impossible to understand the entire skeleton. Obviously, it would be desirable to strip away the readily interpretable skeleton elements and examine those less well understood. An initial set of experiments were performed on a particular section of a radiograph of Confuciusornis sanctus, as a subject, while utilizing Photoshop CS2TM to perform a digital dissection. The technique was successful enough to save and remove bones from the image, leaving a white image in its place. Although the project was limited by some inherent corrections within Photoshop, the writer is able to demonstrate the feasibility and future potential of the process.


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