Friday 8 February 2019

Horses in Body Worlds

Since it's been ridiculously cold for the last week and I've spent far too much time on the couch at home (and next week isn't looking much better) I decided that this was the week to take in the latest Body Worlds exhibit. This one is all about animals.

In case you've never been to a Body Worlds exhibit, here is what it's about.

Human bodies (or in the case of the current exhibit, animals) are donated to the Institute of Plastination in Germany. The bodies are prepared using a process called plastination. This procedure allows for the bodies to be sliced (very thin to thick) or to be posed allowing for different aspects of anatomy to be shown.

Some people get super creeped out by this, especially for the human exhibits. I find it fascinating.

We've had two Body Worlds exhibits based on human anatomy come through town. Late last year the Animal Inside Out version arrived.

The best part of the exhibit was that there were quite a bit of horse specimens in it. And we were permitted to take pictures - just no flash photography.

Since Body Worlds doesn't get to too many places in North America, I will share all of the horse stuff with you! (But if it comes to your town, go see it!)

The first horse thing was probably the coolest to me. It was a thin slice of a head, done probably through the middle of the head based on the fact that there were only front teeth shown and no ears.

The brain is a bit bigger than I thought - it's a bit bigger than the size of my fist. Also of note is how large the tongue is and how much it fills their mouth.

The horse's skull - we've probably all seen this before.

Next was neat - they sliced a horse head into three - kind of left, right, and center.

It was a little hard to see inside due to the positioning, but again I was able to see their relatively small brain.

Brain is top right.

The nose hairs amused me.
This is a couple of vertebrae with the spinal cord.
Okay, this was actually the coolest thing. I would totally hang this on my wall at home.

I looked at these feet for quite a while, trying to decide if the left foot was laminitic or clubby. These are both back legs, and I don't know if they are different slices of the same leg or two different legs. Something definitely looks funky in those feet.

Next was a foal that was plastinated to highlight the muscles.

Beside it. they had pulled out the digestive system and I think formed it like it would be in the position the foal was in. On the back side of the foal they showed where they had opened the abdomen to pull out the digestive organs.

These would make pretty cool sculptures for my bookcases.

 They show the blood system and where the veins and capillaries are. The first one was pretty solid red, the second one was kind of stringy red. I bet the first one had been a pretty handsome horse in his day - he had a big roman nose and just had a look about him.
That was it for the horse stuff. It didn't take us very long to get through the whole exhibit - maybe 45 minutes. I feel it was a bit high in cost for the length of the show, but I really enjoyed what they had. The cost included admittance to the facility that was hosting Body Worlds, so there was more to see, but I've been there before and the displays are very kid oriented and don't change very much.

There were other animals that were shown other than horses - here are some of the cool ones.

A bull.

The way they displayed the camel was different - the head and neck were split into three and each part placed in a different position. Don't know that I liked the presentation that much.

I intend to Google to see how the foot of a two-toed animal differs from that of a horse. How does the bone structure deal with two toes?

And a giraffe.
I bet that the "cannon bone" or whatever the giraffe version of it is was at least 3 1/2 foot long. 

Should any of the Body Worlds exhibits ever come to a town near you, I highly recommend them! If you are in the Edmonton area, make sure you go before Body Worlds leaves at the end of March.

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