Data released on September 24, 2015
Brooding brittle stars have a special reproduction mode of retaining their eggs and juveniles inside respiratory body-sacs called bursae. In the past, studying this phenomenon required disturbance of the sample by dissecting the adult. This caused irreversible damage and made the sample unsuitable for future studies. Micro X-ray-computed tomography (µCT) is a promising technique, not only to visualise juveniles inside the bursae, but also retaining the sample intact and making the dataset of the scan available for future reference.
Seven µCT scans of five freshly fixed (70% ethanol) individuals, representing three differently-sized brittle star species, provided adequate image quality to determine the numbers, sizes and postures of internally-brooded young, as well as anatomy and morphology of adults. No staining agents were necessary to achieve high-resolution, high-contrast images, which permitted visualisations of both calcified and soft tissue. The raw data (projection, reconstruction images and an additional volume file for easy viewing) are hereby made publicly available for download.
Landschoff, J., Du Plessis, A., & Griffiths, C. L. (2015). A dataset describing brooding in three species of South African brittle stars, comprising seven high-resolution, micro X-ray computed tomography scans. GigaScience, 4(1). doi:10.1186/s13742-015-0093-2