Walsh, S. A. et al

Digital 3D models and measurements of avian brain cavity, blood vessel and nerve endocasts

This dataset comprises cast reconstructions of brain cavity space in 60 extant avian species, derived from X-ray micro computed-tomography scan image stacks. Each reconstruction was made using Materialise Mimics 14.11 to create volumetric models (brain cavity casts) that were then transformed into the polygon mesh stereolithograph (STL) files archived here. Brain cavity cast models are in most cases accompanied by casts of main vascular features (e.g., carotid arteries) and the olfactory nerves (CN I). A data file (Data_TableComma Separated Values) based on values reported in Table 1 of Walsh et al. (2013: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067176) is included that records volume values used in the original analysis, and coding of cerebellar flocculus morphology.

Publication date: 2013-06-25

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Supporting documentation

This nonGeographicDataset is available as

  • STL
  • Comma-separated values (CSV)

Access and use conditions

This resource is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Walsh, S. A.; Iwaniuk, A. N.; Knoll, M. A.; Bourdon, E.; Barrett, P. M.; Milner, A.; Nudds, R.; Abel, R. L.; Dello Sterpaio, P. (2013). Digital 3D models and measurements of avian brain cavity, blood vessel and nerve endocasts. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/4e15f483-5b05-409e-acc0-5117fc24e90b


© Natural Environment Research Council

When reusing these data please cite Walsh, S. A., Iwaniuk, A. N., Knoll M. A., Bourdon, E., Barrett, P. M., Milner, A. C., Nudds, R., Abel, R. L. and Dello Sterpaio, P. 2013. Avian cerebellar floccular fossa size is not a proxy for flying ability in birds. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e67176.


Temporal extent
2010-09-01    to    2012-03-01

Supplemental information

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

Walsh, S. A., Iwaniuk, A. N., Knoll, M. A., Bourdon, E., Barrett, P. M., Milner, A. C., … Sterpaio, P. D. (2013). Avian Cerebellar Floccular Fossa Size Is Not a Proxy for Flying Ability in Birds. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e67176.

Provenance & quality

Data were collected from avian osteological specimens held in the collections of National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, and the Natural History Museum, London. These data were derived from X-ray micro-CT scans conducted using Nikon Metrology HMX ST 225 scanners at the University of Abertay, Dundee and the Natural History museum at resolutions of 12-149 µm. Voxel segmentation of brain cavity casts was conducted using Materialise Mimics 14.11 by two team members and volume values collected from these segmentations.


Walsh, S. A.
National Museums Scotland
Iwaniuk, A. N.
University of Lethbridge
Knoll, M. A.
University of the West of Scotland
Bourdon, E.
The Natural History Museum
Barrett, P. M.
The Natural History Museum
Milner, A.
The Natural History Museum
Nudds, R.
University of Manchester
Abel, R. L.
Imperial College London
Dello Sterpaio, P.
University of Abertay

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Topic categories
Animal phylogenetics,  biological locomotion,  bird flight,  birds,  dinosaurs,  Evolutionary ecology paleobiology,  vision