12 Amazing Animal X-Rays from the Oregon Zoo

Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

As fascinating as it can be to walk through a zoo, the real intrigue often takes place behind the scenes. Zookeepers are responsible for looking after the health of thousands of creatures, an elaborate and demanding process that can result in everything from a bird called a Sarus crane getting cataract surgery to a rattlesnake getting a face implant to correct a deformity from an overgrown venom gland.

Much of this health care is preventative, involving annual check-ups and X-rays, which are typically performed on lightly anesthetized animals to help prevent complications from sedation. To that end, the Oregon Zoo in Portland recently conducted a round of digital radiology using equipment funded largely from a donation by the Banfield Pet Hospital in 2009, and decided to share the amazing results online.

"Digital radiology allows us to get X-ray results faster and fine-tune the images after taking them, so we’re able to minimize anesthesia and examination time for animals," the zoo wrote in a press release accompanying the images. "This decreased anesthesia time means lower risk and improved safety for our patients. Plus we can digitally archive images for later comparison, and share X-rays with consultants and veterinary staff at other zoos."

Keep scrolling for a look at the internal physiology of some familiar creatures.

1. BALL PYTHON

An X-ray image of a ball python courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

2. CAPE PORCUPINE

An X-ray image of a cape porcupine courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

3. BAT

An X-ray image of a bat courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

4. BEAVER TAIL

An X-ray image of a beaver tail courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

5. GOLDEN EAGLE

An X-ray image of a golden eagle courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

6. TIGER

An X-ray image of a tiger paw courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

7. TOCO TOUCAN

An X-ray image of a toco toucan courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

8. HEDGEHOG

An X-ray image of a hedgehog courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

9. FLAMINGO

An X-ray image of a flamingo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

10. SCREECH OWL

An X-ray image of a screech owl courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

11. WESTERN POND TURTLE

An X-ray of western pond turtle courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

12. WOLF EEL

An X-ray image of a wolf eel courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo

[h/t BoredPanda]

All images are courtesy of the Oregon Zoo and used with permission.

The Reason Why a Puppy in North Carolina Was Born Bright Green

Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, iStock via Getty Images
Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, iStock via Getty Images

When a dog owner in Canton, North Carolina, first saw her new puppy, she knew exactly what to name him. Hulk the infant pup is much smaller than his namesake, but like the comic book character, he's green from head to toe.

As WLOS reports, Hulk was born with a coat of fur the color of avocado toast. He is one of eight puppies in a litter a white German Shepherd named Gypsy delivered the morning of January 10. Even though one came out lime-green, it was healthy, normal birth, according to Gypsy's owner Shana Stamey.

Hulk's unique coloration isn't a sign of any health issues. Meconium—or the matter in the intestines of a fetus—is mostly made of water, but it can also contain something called biliverdin. This chemical makes bile, and when it gets into the amniotic fluid of a birth sac, it can stain a puppy's fur green. This is especially noticeable when the newborn's fur is white, as in Hulk's case. You can see the rare phenomenon in the video below.

After a few weeks of baths and licks from mom, the meconium stains will eventually fade to reveal his natural white coat. But while he won't be green forever, Hulk gets to keep his colorful name for life.

[h/t WLOS]

Not-So-Fancy Feast: Your Cat Probably Would Eat Your Rotting Corpse

Tycson1/iStock via Getty Images
Tycson1/iStock via Getty Images

Cat enthusiasts often cite the warmth and companionship offered by their pet as reasons why they’re so enamored with them. Despite these and other positive attributes, cat lovers are often confronted with the spurious claim that, while their beloved furry pal might adore them when they’re alive, it won’t hesitate to devour their corpse if they should drop dead.

Though that’s often dismissed as negative cat propaganda spread by dog people, it turns out that it’s probably true. Fluffy might indeed feast on your flesh if you happened to expire.

A horrifying new case study published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences offers the fresh evidence. The paper, first reported by The Washington Post, documents how two cats reacted in the presence of a corpse at Colorado Mesa University’s Forensic Investigation Research Station, or body farm, where the deceased are used to further forensic science for criminal investigations.

The study’s authors did not orchestrate a meeting between cat and corpse. The finding happened by accident: Student and lead author Sara Garcia was scanning surveillance footage of the grounds when she noticed a pair of cats trespassing. The cats, she found, were interested in the flesh of two corpses; they gnawed on human tissue while it was still in the early stages of decomposition, stopping only when the bodies began leaching fluids.

The cats, which were putting away one corpse each, didn’t appear to have a taste for variety, as they both returned to the same corpse virtually every night. The two seemed to prefer the shoulder and arm over other body parts.

This visual evidence joins a litany of reports over the years from medical examiners, who have observed the damage left by both cats and dogs who were trapped in homes with deceased owners and proceeded to eat them. It’s believed pets do this when no other food source is available, though in some cases, eating their human has occurred even with a full food bowl. It’s something to consider the next time your cat gives you an affectionate lick on the arm. Maybe it loves you. Or maybe it has something else in mind.

[h/t The Washington Post]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER