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New Gunther Von Hagens show wows the crowds

Gunther Von Hagens has previously come under a great deal of criticism after showing the exhibition Body Worlds. Among other attractions, this featured a fetus that was preserved as well as a horseman with his skull split open. Another exhibition has been put together and is on display at the Natural History Museum and it includes 100 exhibits which are this time focusing on animals.

The exhibition is called Animal Inside Out and features, among other things, a red shark, a hairless gorilla and a 50-year-old elephant. The animals in the display have been preserved by the use of the process invented by Von Hagens, called plastination.

This process involves the removal of the fat and water from the specimens before these two fluids are replaced with polymers. Once these substances have been replaced, the skin of the animal is dissolved and the systems that were beneath the skin are able to be seen in their true level of complexity.

The new collection of preserved animals is as much a piece of art as it is a scientific display. The effort that has gone into creating the display is clearly enormous and many of the pieces are enormously complex. One of them shows two reindeer involved in a fight and it is quite incredible to be able to see all the anatomical detail.

The animals that have been used in the exhibition come from enclosures where they have died of natural causes. The most notable item in the collection is a giant Asian elephant and it dominates the final room of the exhibition. It is fascinating to see the muscles and internal organs of this enormous animal. The elephant is supported by a metallic structure that has been designed to also demonstrate the exact path of the blood vessels through the animal.

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