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Animal anatomy in the flesh

An exhibition at London's Natural History Museum is giving visitors the opportunity to see underneath animals' skin.
Ashley Pelfrey
Ashley Pelfrey • 1 year ago

The anatomist and pioneer of "plastination" preserved the animals by replacing the water in the tissue with silicon rubber. The anatomical structures have been solidifed in poses to mimic natural behaviour and dissected to allow visitors to see inside.

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A bull, a magnificent elephant and blood-red shark all feature in a new exhibition at London's Natural History Museum. The macabre menagerie was created by Gunther von Hagens, known for his previous Body Worlds exhibition that deconstructed human anatomy.

Many animals have been frozen in motion, allowing people to see just how their bodies work. Exhibition curator, Dr Angelina Whalley, from the Institute for Plastination, says she hopes that people will leave the exhibition with a new "respect for nature and for science".

In 2007, a little known creature called a tardigrade became the first animal to survive exposure to space. It prevailed over sub-zero temperatures, unrelenting solar winds and an oxygen-deprived space vacuum. On Monday, this microscopic cosmonaut has once again hitched a ride into space on the Nasa shuttle Endeavour. Its mission: to help scientists understand more about how this so-called "hardiest animal on Earth" can survive for short periods off it.

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Visitors are able to come face to face with a large, upright male gorilla. In life, explains Mr Sabin, the animal would have used the huge muscles in its arms and chest to pull down small tress and reach the massive quantities of vegetation it ate.

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These amazing embryonic animal photographs of dolphins, sharks, dogs, penguins, cats and elephants are from a new National Geographic Documentary called “Extraordinary Animals in the Womb”. The show’s producer, Peter Chinn, used a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, computer graphics and tiny cameras to capture the process from conception to birth. They are the most detailed embryonic animal pictures ever seen.

High-speed video/slow-motion playback reveals the science of mammals shaking themselves dry