This is amazing. Alot of people don’t know how to look at feet….
How to 3-D Print the Skeleton of a Living Animal: Amazing story from Wired Science about a grad student working in an imaging lab who figured out how to take a CT scan of a rat and turn into into a 3D-printed skeleton!
I would gladly get shot with radiation if one of you would print my skull.
(via Wired Science)
have you ever thought about owl skeletons
i sure had not
Today I visited the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, primarily to see their articulated Blue Whale. As it turns out the rest of the museum is spectacular as well, but it’s going to take a few posts just to convey the sheer size of this majestic beast. This is a must see if you’re ever in Vancouver BC, nothing can prepare you for seeing a creature this large.
These are some photos from my friend Milo — I’m so horrendously jealous that he got to visit this magnificent creature today! Did you know that the heart of a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is roughly the size of a small compact car, and only beats around once a minute? Its arteries are so large that a small person can crawl through them. They are the largest creatures to have ever existed in the history of our planet.
It’s no lie that I love blue whales.
Sections of the different stomach compartments of a ruminant
Across from top left: Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum, Abomasum
Ruminants are a class of animal that digest their food through fermentative digestion. This allows them to digest feeds which are indigestible to monogastrics - like us.
Microbes including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and even viruses work together to break down the structural components of ingested plant material. These microbes live in the rumen and reticulum of the animal. These compartments are known collectively as the ruminoreticulum and are the first compartment into which food enters.
The major by-products of microbial digestion are Volatile Fatty Acids (VFAs) which are free fatty acids which pass through the wall of the rumen and are used for energy by the animal.
Protein in the feed is used by the microbes for their own reproduction and growth. The animal gets protein from its feed when the microbes pass through the next section of the stomach, the omasum (where water is absorbed), and on into the abomasum. The abomasum secretes acid to kill and digest the microbes which have passed from the ruminoreticulum.
Plastination is a process used to preserve bodies or body parts.
The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample.
To those anons that have asked me.
Little One- pop up book by Alison Ann Woodward
Amazing! you guys should check out her blog, it’s full of wonders.
I did not have an opportunity to discuss our most recent Freak of the Week from December 21st, so I thought I’d bring you the (majority of) the rest of the skeleton today. Those weird bones are the feet of the second largest penguin on the planet, the King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), which stands around three feet tall — second only to their cousins, the Emperors. I will always be amazed that we have penguins in our collection, land-locked in north.
Penguins are phenomenally interesting creatures which are extremely well-adapted to their generally unforgiving environments. They can dive up to 322 meters, about 1,056 feet in the pursuit of their fish — that’s 1/5 of a mile in the freezing water. That distance is the equivalent of me climbing about 3 stacked redwood trees to get something to eat.
I’m also especially interested in their picky mating behaviors. In lieu of trying to summarize ADW’s description, I’ll give it to you verbatim:
King penguins have a lower rate of monogamy than smaller penguin species. Currently, there is no definitive answer as to why this occurs; however, two explanations have merit: 1) mates not arriving to the colony at the same time, and 2) the amount of fat the penguin has stored. Fat storage plays a role in the low monogamy rate because if the penguins begin storing fat too early they become more vulnerable to predators. If they begin storing fat too late, they may not return to the colony at the same time as their mate. If both mates do not arrive at the colony at the same time, breeding can be delayed or a new mate may be chosen.
Females appear to be more selective than males when choosing a mate, but both sexes seem to choose a mate based on their plumage. Early breeding pairs have higher ultraviolet reflectance of beak spots than those breeding later in the season. The plumage color on the breasts and auricular areas are thought to directly reflect the health of a king penguin’s immune system. The healthier it is, the brighter the plumage.
Males advertise for mates with a combination of vocalizations and visual displays. Male king penguins produce a trumpeting call and then stretch to full height with bills raised. Once a female accepts, the two face each other and continue to engage in physical displays including strutting, bowing, shaking, calling, and stretching to maximum height with bills in the air.
The next time someone asks me out I will be sure to judge them based off of the level of ultraviolet reflectance of beak spots (they must have extra cones to see a higher spectrum?!). I’m also highly amused that their dating dance is parallel to how humans do it; strutting, shaking, calling. Waving bills in the air.
Additional shots of the incredibly greasy King penguin skeleton (Aptenodytes patagonicus). It is roughly articulated/laid out. Check out the previous post with more details here.
Yep, this is a real thing.
Aside from natural means (Siamese twins), scientists can test all sorts of drugs and chemicals on lab rats using this process. The process is pretty gross actually (it reminds me of that movie Human Centipede), it involves removing the outer skin layers and then grafting them together which essentially sews the two organisms together turning them in to conjoined twins.
At this point the mice are fine and walk around no problem. The interesting thing about this process is it allows you see the effects of the blood of the younger mouse on the older mouse. The lecture on the bigthink Youtube channel by Douglas Melton - where I got this animation from - shows if you sew a younger and older mouse together, the blood of the younger mouse will actually rejuvenate damaged areas in the older mouse. So the fountain of youth is something in the blood of youth itself, though living forever is an entirely different story.
Check out the lecture here if you are interested in Biomedical Research
I think this is a very good tutorial. Especially concerning Escher girls.
This may be of interest to some people. I often get requests for drawing resources/tutorials. :)