Nearly 100 anatomically dissected animals will go on display in Dublin when the well known Body Worlds - Animals Inside Out exhibition opens at the Ambassador Theatre.
The show offers visitors a chance to see the intricate circulatory and muscular systems of dozens of animals including a brown bear, an Asian elephant and a pigeon.The specimens have been preserved through plastination, a method in which the animals' skin is removed and their tissue water replaced with a polymer such as silicon rubber or epoxy resin.
"Each individual cell that contained water before is filled up with silicon," said Body Worlds creative director Angelina Whalley. "The cell structures are still in place, you could even do microscopic investigations."
With the skin removed, the animals' muscles, nerves, arteries and organs are clear to see. According to the organisers, highlights of the exhibition include "peering into the trunk of a giant elephant, witnessing a shark outlined entirely in its dense network of blood vessels, standing face to face with an adult gorilla and peeking inside a rabbit's brain".
Dr Whalley said the exhibition "is designed for everyone who is curious about nature and comprises a huge collection of anatomically dissected animal specimens to show, on one hand, the great diversity mother nature has brought us but, at the same time, how similar [WE]are".
The exhibition costs €14 for an adult and €8 for a child. It follows on from Body Works, a similar exhibition featuring plastinated human specimens that first opened in Japan in 1995.
Dr Whalley, who is married to Dr Gunther von Hagens, the man who devised plastination, said Body Worlds depends on donations for its exhibitions.
"We are absolutely dependent on donations, this holds true for our human specimens as well as for the animals, so most of them are originating from zoos, animal parks or private people," she said.
Source: Irish Times