Kubtec Xpert 80-L digital x-ray System

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Peter Rask Møller


University of Copenhagen


DKK 1,700,000




Research Infrastructure


The Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen (NHMD) has a proud tradition for contribution to science via discovery and description of new fish species. We are keen to continue this contribution via new expeditions and from the huge scientific collections at NHMD. When describing a new fish species an essential tool is an x-ray machine, so that internal skeletal characters e.g. vertebrae and finrays can be described. The best one for our purposes is a Kubtec Xpert 80-L System, being fast, detailed, user friendly and suitable for specimens up to 50 cm. With this new machine we can effectively describe the many new species in our collection, and keep up the high standards in curation and service for the international community of scientist and the general public.


Documenting and describing the marine biodiversity is probably more important than ever. For fishes, correct species ID often deepens on detailed examination of e.g. number of vertebrae and/or measurements of various bones or teeth, so for the basic curatorial work and collection management, access to a fast and accurate x-rays machine is essential. Some of these tasks can now also be done with molecular methods (barcoding), but this is more time-consuming and provides no additional morphological and biological information. In modern zoology, morphological and molecular data are often integrated in i.e. evolutionary analyses on all levels form populations to phyla. X-rays are also useful in ecological studies on e.g. diets and in aging of various animals.


The x-rays will be used in a numerous on-going taxonomic revisions of e.g. coral reef and deep-sea fishes. Also, in our recent Atlas book of Danish Freshwater fishes (Carl & Møller 2012), an x-ray was published for each species, and we plan to do the same for the marine part as well. In the past we have made selected specimens available in this way - e.g. the famous Forsskål Fish Herbarium from the "The Arabian Journey" (1761-67), but with a new fast machine we can do the same for all the species in the collection (ca. 6500 species).

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