X-Ray Image of a Longnose Butterflyfish
The clearly pictured spines, rays and snout make identifying this longnose butterflyfish, Forcipiger longirostris, straightforward in this X-ray image. Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray images, like the one shown, to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish without having to dissect or damage the specimen.
The National Museum of Natural History is currently exhibiting "X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out," a temporary exhibit that showcases fish evolution and diversity through 40 black and white X-ray images prepared for research purposes. Experience the exhibit at the Museum until August 5, 2012 or online on the Encyclopedia of Life.