10th September 2008
For a paper I'm working on, with my occasional colleague Matt Wedel, I needed nice multi-view images of a cervical vertebra from a bird -- any bird -- for comparison with sauropod vertebrae. It found it surprisingly hard to dig up useful images on Google (by which I mean of high enough quality to use in the figures of a paper).
So I took my own photos, using the seventh cervical vertebra of a domestic turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. The bone is pretty small -- the centrum is 42 mm long -- which makes it tricky to get good images. Using a tripod-mounted Nikon Coolpix 4500, in "flower mode", and taking plenty of shots so I could choose the ones that came out best, I was able to assemble photos from all six cardinal directions. Using the GIMP, a free PhotoShop-alike, I scaled these photos to equivalent size, colour-balanced them and composited them into a single image. That image is below, on three different backgrounds.
The images you see below are small 500x410 pixel previews; they link through to full-size 5405x4432 versions, which are my gift to the world under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial licence. This means that you are welcome to make whatever non-commercial use you like with these images, so long as you attribute me. Specifically, you are free to use these images in scientific publications, modified or not, so long as you mention where you got them in the acknowledgements. Also, if you want to print them out and hang them on your wall just because they're so darned beautiful, feel free -- I just don't want Athena making a fortune selling Meleagris C7 posters based on them without giving me a cut.