24 September 2011

Tortoise skeleton

A really fascinating construction, when you think about it.

Image from Biomedical Ephemera, via A London Salmagundi.


  1. It reminds me of Dougal Dixon's "vacuumorph," a hypothetical engineered human that could live in space.
    This is its skeleton:
    And the whole creature:

  2. For some unknown reason I always thought the spine would be on the bottom supporting everything on top.

  3. OOh, I'm so glad someone else likes Dougal Dixon - the kids adore his future evolution books and love "designing" their own alternatives.

    The shell is adapted from ribs, so it'd have to be at the top!

  4. The mechanics of their breathing is also very cool....they cannot expand their ribcage, and do not have a muscular diaphragm. Instead they rely on the movement of their limbs to increase or decrease the volume of their body cavity, pulling air in or pushing it out.

    more here: http://www.britishcheloniagroup.org.uk/vetscorner/respiratory.htm

    (the first straight-forward explanation google offered)

  5. Just looking at this gives me a stiff neck.


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