Winners' gallery

Take a look at this year's winning images.


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Blood vessels of the African grey parrot

Scott Birch and Scott Echols

This image shows a 3D reconstruction of an African grey parrot, post euthanasia. The 3D model details the highly intricate system of blood vessels in the head and neck of the bird and was made possible through the use of a new research contrast agent called BriteVu (invented by Scott Echols). This contrast agent allows researchers to study a subject’s vascular system in incredible detail, right down to the capillary level.

The parrot model measures 27.83 cm (h) x 8.15 cm (d) x 9.48 cm (w).

Imaging technique: Computed tomography (CT) and digital imaging

For this series, 2,933 images each 100 micrometres (0.1 mm) thick were taken using CT scans. CT uses X-rays to take virtual slices of the body to show the location of the blood vessels and the bones of the skeleton. These 2D images were converted into 3D representations using special computer modelling methods, producing 3D models of the skin and brain, the cardiovascular system and the skeletal system. The models were then textured using digital imaging software to produce these images.

Location where image was created

Tennessee, USA

Image creator

Scott Birch and Scott Echols come from very different career backgrounds. Scott Birch originally worked in television and film production, before focusing on the development of novel techniques to view 3D veterinary anatomy using CT and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Scott Echols has always been fascinated by animals, which led to him training as a veterinarian, specialising in bird medicine and surgery. His videos have been used as teaching materials worldwide, and he has had two of his paintings featured on the cover of the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. Find out more.

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