How You Give A Giraffe A CT Scan

Apr 30 2012 @ 8:03am

One body part at a time:

Giraffe-leg-ct

Zoologist John Hutchinson dissects nature's biggest beasts for the British show "Inside Nature's Giants":

Hutchinson has a job that is centered around the frozen carcasses of all manner of strange (and usually rather large) creatures. His research is all about the evolution and mechanics of motion. He studies living animals, both through dissection and 3D modeling, and he tries to use that data to better understand how extinct animals—including dinosaurs—might have moved around.

At his blog, What's In John's Freezer?, Hutchinson explains the above image, along with some other stunning (if gruesome) shots:

This specimen died in a UK zoo recently, apparently from trauma (falling?), which we’re trying to help them figure out in the course of our scans dissections. We often provide a pretty detailed postmortem service in return for being given cadavers, since we are a vet school with a lot of expertise in pathology and anatomy. Also, we have been describing the kinds of pathologies we observe along the way, because terribly little is known about some diseases/injuries in non-domestic animals, so there is plenty we can contribute to the scientific literature as a result.