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A pedagogic tool illustrating the three-dimensional metazoan body plans

MetaMorphos logo

We live in a three-dimensional world and in this we have a length, a width and a thickness, just like all the living organisms. The study of animals, zoology, involves understanding their structure plans: without describing the structure of an organ or organ system, the operation of it is incomprehensible. If we live well in a three dimensional world explanatory ways we still spend most of the time by support in two sizes: the blackboard professors or the screen of data projectors, drawings or photos we have Give us 2D images of the objects or structures we describe or analyze. MetaMorphos (Metazoan Morphology) is a program that illustrates the structure plans of invertebrate metazoans by high-quality 3D reconstructions. It is aimed at people who want to understand animal architecture whether they are naturalist amateurs, professional zoologists, students or biology teachers. MetaMorphos 2.12 is the second version of the program which includes eight bodies: two Cnidaria including a anthozoan and scyphozoan, a comb jelly (Ctenophora), a turbellarian (Platyhelminthes), two Panannelida including a polychaete and myzostomide, a gastropod (Mollusca), a nematodes (Nematoda), a spider (Arthropoda), a cucumber (Echinodermata) and a sea squirt (Urochordata).

Organizations are presented in Metamorphos avatars that is to say, 3D reconstructions of fictitious kinds agencies that include the major characteristics of high-level taxa in the Linnaean hierarchy, usually the classes. MetaMorphos allows to analyze the external morphology of the avatars as well as their systemic organization. The visualized organ systems are the digestive, excretory, nervous, reproductive, circulatory, respiratory and other unique system observed in some taxa (e.g., the system ambulacral echinoderms). An organic system can be visualized alone or with other systems, either in toto or without representation of the translucent body of the animal. A cursor is used to identify system parts. The metavatar can be oriented in all the dimensions of the space and a function "zoom" allows to magnify the part of the body in analysis.

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