Posts tagged skeleton

One of these things is not like the other…

First row: Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) skeleton
Second row: Hooded seal (Cystopkora cristata) skeleton
Third row: Dugong (Dugong dugon) skeleton, Brazilian sea lion (Otaria flavescens) skeleton.

*Skulls depicted are of species in the same genus as the skeleton.

Sirenia (manatees, dugongs, and sea cows) and Pinnipedia (the seals, walruses, and sea lions) are often seen as very similar, but they came from very different lineages.

While both came from land mammals (just like all sea mammals), the pinnipeds evolved from a bear-like ancestor, who returned to the sea around 28 MYA. They’re Caniformidae, or dog-like Carnivora.

The sirens evolved from the same ancestor as the hyraxes and elephants, and returned to the sea around 50 MYA. They’re only distantly related to Cetaceans and Pinnipeds.

Vergleicheende Osteologie. Edward D’alton, 1821.

scientificillustration:

The Helmet Vanga (Euryceros prevostii) by BioDivLibrary on Flickr.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmet_Vanga
Osteologia avium, or, A sketch of the osteology of birds /.[Wellington] :Published by R. Hobson, Wellington, Salop,1858-1875..biodiversitylibrary.org/page/41399243

scientificillustration:

The Helmet Vanga (Euryceros prevostii) by BioDivLibrary on Flickr.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmet_Vanga

Osteologia avium, or, A sketch of the osteology of birds /.
[Wellington] :Published by R. Hobson, Wellington, Salop,1858-1875..
biodiversitylibrary.org/page/41399243

biomedicalephemera:

“Great Beast” (Megatherium) skeleton, from George Shaw’s Zoological Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, 1800. 
Megatherium americana was one of the few species of South American megafauna to not die out soon after the Great American Interchange at the beginning of the Pliocine era, and there’s evidence that it was encountered and hunted by early humans, especially after it expanded northwards into southern North America.
The size of a bull elephant, Megatherium were largely quadrupeds, but could use their massive tail as a tripod-like base to allow themselves to stand on their hind legs and pull down the choicest branches of leaves. Their somewhat smaller (rhino-sized) ancestor Promegatherium is believed to be a direct ancestor of both Megatherium and modern-day sloths. 

biomedicalephemera:

“Great Beast” (Megatherium) skeleton, from George Shaw’s Zoological Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, 1800. 

Megatherium americana was one of the few species of South American megafauna to not die out soon after the Great American Interchange at the beginning of the Pliocine era, and there’s evidence that it was encountered and hunted by early humans, especially after it expanded northwards into southern North America.

The size of a bull elephant, Megatherium were largely quadrupeds, but could use their massive tail as a tripod-like base to allow themselves to stand on their hind legs and pull down the choicest branches of leaves. Their somewhat smaller (rhino-sized) ancestor Promegatherium is believed to be a direct ancestor of both Megatherium and modern-day sloths. 

biomedicalephemera:

Skeleton of the Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)
Superimposed over the basic form of the fowl, to give a better approximation of how the musculature and feathering of the animal is constructed.
The bird; its form and function. C. William Beebe, 1907.

biomedicalephemera:

Skeleton of the Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)

Superimposed over the basic form of the fowl, to give a better approximation of how the musculature and feathering of the animal is constructed.

The bird; its form and function. C. William Beebe, 1907.

biomedicalephemera:

Flamingos aren’t “naturally” pink, but acquire their color from beta carotenes in their food. An under-nourished or young flamingo is much lighter, and juveniles are a light grey color for quite a while. The flamingo species that only eat blue-green algae are darker pink-red than the species that get the blue-green algae second-hand (through prawns or brine shrimp or stuff like that).
If you see a flamingo flock in a zoo and it’s light pink, they probably are (assuming it’s one of the species from the Americas) still eating the traditional captive flamingo food. More and more wildlife facilities are feeding their flamingos supplementary prawns and canthaxanthin. Even though the birds were pretty healthy on the traditional food (as opposed to many species, whose zoo diets were traditionally not sufficient to give them all the nutrients they needed to be really healthy), who goes to a zoo to see a grey-pink flamingo? I sure don’t.

biomedicalephemera:

Flamingos aren’t “naturally” pink, but acquire their color from beta carotenes in their food. An under-nourished or young flamingo is much lighter, and juveniles are a light grey color for quite a while. The flamingo species that only eat blue-green algae are darker pink-red than the species that get the blue-green algae second-hand (through prawns or brine shrimp or stuff like that).

If you see a flamingo flock in a zoo and it’s light pink, they probably are (assuming it’s one of the species from the Americas) still eating the traditional captive flamingo food. More and more wildlife facilities are feeding their flamingos supplementary prawns and canthaxanthin. Even though the birds were pretty healthy on the traditional food (as opposed to many species, whose zoo diets were traditionally not sufficient to give them all the nutrients they needed to be really healthy), who goes to a zoo to see a grey-pink flamingo? I sure don’t.

biomedicalephemera:

Canid and Felidae Skeletons.
Note the similarities in skull structure between the carnivores - forward-facing eyes with depth perception, sharp fangs, and large temporal surfaces for muscle attachment. The size of the mandibular muscles and strong vaulting of the skull affords the massive jaw strength that can be required to crunch through, at a minimum, tough skin and sinew. In the case of the hyena, the mandibles are strong enough to break up the bones of even large cattle.
Das thierleben in Schönbrunn, 1904.

biomedicalephemera:

Canid and Felidae Skeletons.

Note the similarities in skull structure between the carnivores - forward-facing eyes with depth perception, sharp fangs, and large temporal surfaces for muscle attachment. The size of the mandibular muscles and strong vaulting of the skull affords the massive jaw strength that can be required to crunch through, at a minimum, tough skin and sinew. In the case of the hyena, the mandibles are strong enough to break up the bones of even large cattle.

Das thierleben in Schönbrunn, 1904.

Thornback ray (Raja clavata) and thornback ray skeleton

Like sharks, rays and skates have fully cartilaginous skeletons, which provide a stable structure but more flexibility than bone. You can see that, much like fish, rays have defined, er, rays, in their fins. The difference is that while fish tend to have a few unconnected rays and a taught taut tissue between them, the Rajiforms (skates and rays) have many, many rays, which are all connected perpendicularly by collagen. The body is then formed around these rays, which propel the Rajiforms forward in an undulating (wave-like) motion.

A history of the fishes of the British Islands. Jonathan Couch, 1863.

cabbagingcove:

Caricatures of Death Personified

From a pre-Revolutionary magazine, first published in Russia in 1906. Illustrations by Boris Kustodiev.

Personifications of death included depictions of the devastating 1906 drought and ensuing famine, and the ravages of cholera, in the midst of revolutionary uprisings in Moscow.

Reginald Southey with human and monkey skeleton
Albumen photograph by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (nom de plume Lewis Caroll, author of Alice in Wonderland), 1857.
Reginald Southey was an English physician who invented a specialized cannula (tube) for draining the excess fluid from limbs suffering from edema (dropsy). He also apparently served on England’s “Lunacy Commission” so…there’s that. Southey was lifelong friends with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and was the one who encouraged him to take up photography.
The pensive expression on Southey’s face betrays the fact that he’s standing with his arm around a skeleton rather than a live human. The composition of the photograph and the portrayal of the abnormal as mundane strikes me as incredibly reminiscent of the worlds Dodgson created in his writings.

Reginald Southey with human and monkey skeleton

Albumen photograph by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (nom de plume Lewis Caroll, author of Alice in Wonderland), 1857.

Reginald Southey was an English physician who invented a specialized cannula (tube) for draining the excess fluid from limbs suffering from edema (dropsy). He also apparently served on England’s “Lunacy Commission” so…there’s that. Southey was lifelong friends with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and was the one who encouraged him to take up photography.

The pensive expression on Southey’s face betrays the fact that he’s standing with his arm around a skeleton rather than a live human. The composition of the photograph and the portrayal of the abnormal as mundane strikes me as incredibly reminiscent of the worlds Dodgson created in his writings.

Apropos for the season ~ this illustration is indeed by Frederick Ruysch, from a set of 1744 engravings. 
biomedicalephemera:

Arrangement of fetal skeletons, bladder calculi, blood vessels, and a songbird.
Artist/Anatomist not noted, but the artistic style is that of Frederik Ruysch and he was one of the more notable at the height of the artistic Renaissance of anatomy. He arranged specimens in artistic poses and displayed them in glass-cased displays that fascinated and dazzled the public. Preserved specimens had only been developed and used since the late 1600s. While the novelty of seeing a preserved animal or human on display caught the public’s attention, the artistic stylings of the anatomists and naturalists of the day is what kept it.

Apropos for the season ~ this illustration is indeed by Frederick Ruysch, from a set of 1744 engravings. 

biomedicalephemera:

Arrangement of fetal skeletons, bladder calculi, blood vessels, and a songbird.

Artist/Anatomist not noted, but the artistic style is that of Frederik Ruysch and he was one of the more notable at the height of the artistic Renaissance of anatomy. He arranged specimens in artistic poses and displayed them in glass-cased displays that fascinated and dazzled the public. Preserved specimens had only been developed and used since the late 1600s. While the novelty of seeing a preserved animal or human on display caught the public’s attention, the artistic stylings of the anatomists and naturalists of the day is what kept it.

Wax anatomical models of man and woman; half-skeleton, half-living, in fashionable Regency garments.

It’s unknown if these models were intended as a darkly comic “memento mori” sort of novelty, or a teaching aid, or both.

The skeletons are accurate enough to have been used to teach students how the articulations line up in the living body, so even as a novelty, they may have had an educational use.

Models located at Science Museum London, originally created ca. 1810-1830.

biomedicalephemera:

Megatherium americanum - The Giant Ground Sloth

The skeleton of Megatherium set up in the London Natural History Museum, and a depiction of a possibility of Megatherium behavior in life.

Though the population was already decreasing when the first humans arrived in South America, the disappearance of the Giant Sloth was helped along by the new immigrants. Using mammoth-hunting skills, this large and lumbering creature was an ideal kill for a human tribe. It was one of the many Pleistocene megafauna that went extinct during the Quaternary extinctions.

Extinct monsters. H. N. Hutchinson, 1896.

Northern Wolverine - Gulo borealis (now recognized as a sub-population of Gulo gulo luscus)
Check out the huge paws and the distance from the ribcage to the edge of the body - the thick, oily fur, and the fat padding keep the wolverine resistant to frost, and the big paws allow it to "snowshoe" across the winter tundra. Well, that, and they help them take down prey as large as mule deer and moose calves. 
Wolverines are the largest (or at least most powerful) carnivores active throughout the year in most holarctic regions of the world.
Vergleichende Osteologie von Christian H. Pander und Eduard d’Alton, 1821-1831.

Northern Wolverine - Gulo borealis (now recognized as a sub-population of Gulo gulo luscus)

Check out the huge paws and the distance from the ribcage to the edge of the body - the thick, oily fur, and the fat padding keep the wolverine resistant to frost, and the big paws allow it to "snowshoe" across the winter tundra. Well, that, and they help them take down prey as large as mule deer and moose calves.

Wolverines are the largest (or at least most powerful) carnivores active throughout the year in most holarctic regions of the world.

Vergleichende Osteologie von Christian H. Pander und Eduard d’Alton, 1821-1831.

Skeleton of the Fin Whale (Baelenoptera musculus)
Fin whales are the second-longest animal in the world, and second-largest, after the blue whale. They travel significantly faster than blue whales in open ocean, but were (and are) hunted just as much, if not more, than their rorqual counterparts. There are estimated to be 38,000 alive today.

Skeleton of the Fin Whale (Baelenoptera musculus)

Fin whales are the second-longest animal in the world, and second-largest, after the blue whale. They travel significantly faster than blue whales in open ocean, but were (and are) hunted just as much, if not more, than their rorqual counterparts. There are estimated to be 38,000 alive today.

Skeleton of the Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)
Superimposed over the basic form of the fowl, to give a better approximation of how the musculature and feathering of the animal is constructed.
The bird; its form and function. C. William Beebe, 1907.

Skeleton of the Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)

Superimposed over the basic form of the fowl, to give a better approximation of how the musculature and feathering of the animal is constructed.

The bird; its form and function. C. William Beebe, 1907.