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Science - In the spotlight - Inside look at the animal kingdom

After his successful Body Worlds exhibition, Gunther von Hagens' latest exhibition, Animal Inside Out, focuses on animals.

What is it?

From household pets such as cats to our closest ancestor the ape, there are lots of species for pupils to learn about. The exhibition shows frog skeletons, shark blood vessels and gorilla muscle structures, all preserved using von Hagens' plastination process.

From embalming to positioning, it can take up to 1,500 hours to finish one human body, so with squid, ostriches, giraffes and an elephant on show, Animal Inside Out represents years of preparation.

Why is it useful?

It's a rare opportunity to see how animals' bodies function. Divided into sections, each area offers an introduction to a system, such as digestion or reproduction, and each specimen is accompanied by an information board full of interesting facts: that insects often have three times the number of muscles as mammals, for example, or that cows perform 30,000 chewing movements a day, hares have tiny brains but are incredibly intelligent and horses can't vomit.

Where is it?

Animal Inside Out is at the National History Museum, London, until 16 September. Take a look at TES Resources for more information.

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