I’m finally back! University is over! I can blog again!
Towards the end of my exams I was invited to Newcastle’s Life Science Centre to visit their newest exhibition ‘Animal Inside Out’. Created by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, this must see exhibition goes beyond his original work on humans and now features more than 100 real animal specimens. As a graduating zoologist this invite came as some good news during the dreaded final exam season and gave me and some friends something to look forward to. I took my camera along (of course) so I can share some highlights with you.
The exhibition illustrates the diversity that exists within the animal kingdom and highlights physiological differences between distinct groups. It allows you to examine the nervous, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems and see how different OR similar they are to the human equivalent.
How is it done you may ask? The animals are preserved by a technique developed by Hagens himself called plastination. Put simply, the fat and water in the animal are replaced by certain plastics. The result yields specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay and retain most properties of the original providing a unique way to observe inside animals.
Exhibit highlights for me would have to be the larger specimens including the gorilla, giraffe and asian elephant. The size of these animals is what shocks you the most with the giraffe towering metres above you. It was also really cool to see the gorilla and how physiologically similar they are to us when you exclude how much more muscular they are than us (especially me haha).
The asian elephant is HUGE! It has been pulled apart slightly allowing you to peer in and see all of the digestive system which is also really interesting to see.
This really is a fantastic exhibit and really worth a visit to anyone in the North East. I did know quite a lot of the information thanks to three years studying zoology but I can see how it would truly fascinate newcomers. Having said that, it is still incredible to be able to see the inner workings of some of nature’s most impressive animals. It is running till 3rd January next year so there is still plenty of time.
As well as this exhibit, admission to Life Centre also comes with a lot more including a Planetarium, 4D motion ride and many interactive zones. It really is a perfect family day out.
For more information, including ticket prices visit their website at http://www.life.org.uk/. Also check out their social media sites @scienceatlife.