Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Avian vascular anatomy revealed

Credit: Scott Echols. Wellcome Images

This is such a beautiful award-winning image of the complex vascular networks in a pigeon. The image was captured using  CT scan technology and a novel contrasting agent called BriteVu that allows visualization of even tiny capillaries. This image was captured by Scott Echols who is a member of the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project, whose goals are to create technologies to study animal anatomy. The complex capillary network located in the neck of this pigeon is important in helping the animal regulate body temperature. Dilation of these blood vessels allows the birds to dissipate heat to the environment, whereas constriction helps prevent heat loss.


Categories: Comparative Physiology, Environment, Extreme Animals, Nature's Solutions

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