Inside Various Giants (A Pictorial Retrospective)
April 13, 2012 by John of the Freezers
There’s no better way to kick things off after a holiday than with a celebration of the Inside Nature’s Giants series, which I had a small part in early on, including these shots I took during the time they spent filming at the RVC >3 years ago (!?!?); most of these animals spent multiple holidays inside The Freezers:
Private moment with elephant
Stunning emergence of The Guts
So you are impressed by the guts too, ehh? It was pretty amazing to watch it happen. The tension was intense- the animal had been dead for a while and was rather bloated. So cutting it open was a task gingerly taken…
RVC dissector Richard Prior stuck a scalpel in the upper abdomen when the time was right… the piercing whistle and the sulphuric odour silenced the crowd watching… and then quickly out came the guts.
Everyone was pretty amazed by the scale.
The guts just went on and on…
Not a 1-person job by any means.
Spreading them out to see the whole GI tract.
I waited patiently and watched the show filming; what a great, professional crew. Then I got to take the legs away for our research.
But not just elephants, no sirree! The Windfall Films/ING team filmed giraffe, crocodile and big cats episodes (4 total) at the RVC too; a crazy period of a few weeks (including a major blizzard that hit us during the croc filming) in 2009. Some of the stars follow:
Frozen lion waiting for CT scan, shot 1
Frozen lion waiting for CT scan, leg shot
Frozen lion waiting for CT scan, shot 2; eerily contorted pose
Frozen tiger waiting for CT scan, shot 1
Frozen tiger waiting for CT scan, shot 2
Frozen tiger waiting for CT scan, shot 3
…and here is the tiger’s head after scanning
…and I’m rather fond of that tiger’s neck– check out the hyoids (roaring/tongue apparatus in throat; bottom of movie)!
…and here is the adult Nile crocodile’s head after scanning
…and another view of that big Nile croc, just because I like how this reconstruction turned out
…and here’s one of the small (~1m long, 10kg) juvenile Nile crocodiles from the show, with a pilot CT scan showing the skeleton nicely- and possibly a last meal or stomach stone on the left side of the abdomen (bright white blob; I need to check this now that we’ve dissected it)
Foetal giraffe; stillborn; from the show, in process of dissection in our lab to measure its limb anatomy. Trust me, it looked –and smelled– better on the inside than it did from the outside. Eew.
How most of the specimens from the first 4 episodes ended up after all dissection was done (part of my/RVC’s collection of skeletons). Sadly, I did not get great photos of the 3.7m Nile crocodile or the two giraffes before they were reduced to bits, but I do have the skeletons and CT scans.
Giving a tour (including The Freezers) to A Certain Esteemed Visitor.
(Another) Gratuitous shot with one of the sweet old Red Kangaroos at Alma Park Zoo near Brisbane, Australia. Experiments on hopping we did there will be briefly featured in the new Inside Nature’s Giants show on Channel 4, 16 April @2000- details at http://t.co/SkjsMeVC.