Scientists at the University of Kansas have come up with new ways to capture stunning images of vertebrate skeletons.
Until now, it was common for researchers to “stain” bones with dyes and dissolve the muscle tissue with a cow enzyme to clear most of it.
“The problem we had was we couldn’t pose these animals because we’ve digested away all of the muscles,” said W. Leo Smith, one of the University of Kansas researchers, in a statement. “They’re flaccid and useless, like a pile of clothes that fold in every direction. We wanted the ability to pose them.”
With the new method, scientists can pose the animals in a mix of glycerine and gelatin, which allows them to get better images of body parts that are difficult to capture. Their findings were published in the scientific journal Copeia.
Taking photographs under regular light can blur some of the animals’ features, but the scientists used a dye that produces red fluorescence and makes the skeleton details more pronounced.
Below, take a look at some of the images captured by Smith and his colleagues.
This is a photo of an Orangebanded Stingfish with its lachrymal sabers projecting out.
Here, take a look at a fossil from the Chinle Formation of the Lisbon Valley in Utah.
Roosterfish, pictured here, is a popular game fish in Mexico.
A Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker is captured in a head-on photo.
This terrifying image is of a North American Least Shrew.
A Timor Python is placed in a coiled position here.
The back of a frog can be seen in this image.
A Four-Horned Poacher, shown here, has a distinctive armour.
Juvenile lancetfish have enormous fangs.
This is the sucking disc of a shark-sucking remora fish.
The Great Barracuda is found in subtropical oceans around the world.
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