Snake bone “handicrafts”
Red spotted alpine bone skelet
Snake bone and antlers (displayed in Bulgari, Rome)
Skeleton specimens predated by the King Snake (the first prize of the second Chinese animal specimen contest) production/photography: Shi Jingtou
The Chinese Anti -Ainer’s “Qinghai -Tibet Plateau Ancient Biological Scientific Scientific Examination Achievement” exhibition area, a special exhibit -the new snake snake new erythema alpine cricket skeleton specimen. This is a categorian species, and now it still lives on the Qinghai -Tibet Plateau at an altitude of about 4,000 meters.
There are 553 hard bones with 50 cm long erythema, which is more than doubled than humans. Its bone specimen needs 11 hours to make it. This unpopular craftsmanship comes from the hands of a post -90s researcher.
Bone means everything
Most people talk about snake color changes and avoid it. For Dr. Shi Jingtou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Ancient Human Research, it is a very ordinary climbing animal.
It is ordinary, but it is not. There are thousands of snakes living in the world. Except for Antarctica, there are snakes in various habitats of various continents. Snakes are extremely successful evolutionary cases.
For the first time, Shi Jingtou was associated with snakes. He was a volunteer in the Snake Island Reserve in Dalian Lushun during his undergraduate period. The village snakes in the mountains make the history of the animals who liked animals fascinated them. Later, during the entire master’s degree, he ran to the Sanbei region to find viper from all over the country. During the blog of the ancient spine, he was lucky to discover the new species of Viper in the Sanjiangyuan area of the Qinghai -Tibet Plateau, the erythema alpine.
In addition to looking for snakes and studying snakes, Shi Jing spent decades to practice a unique craft -making snake skeletal specimen.
There was a snake -themed museum near Shi Jingtou’s undergraduate school. At that time, he was attracted by many exquisite snake skeleton specimens, so he began to work in the museum while contacting snakes. His enlightenment “teacher” is several job notes that remain in the museum. Until he was engaged in paleontological research, he did not give up this hobby.
In fact, for researchers for antipetaliax, bones mean everything, because it is a link between the connecting tractive animals and paleontology. Only after detailed observation and research can we obtain evidence of comparative anatomy and rebuild the history of species evolution.
How many bones are there in snakes?
“To make bone specimens, we must clearly understand the anatomical structure of animals, learn to recognize each bone, what is called, where is it, and how to connect with each other …”
The basic skills of anatomy are well mastered enough to practice the work of the cracks into the furnace.
So, how many bones are there in a complete snake? To figure out this problem, we need to know which parts of the bones of snakes are mainly divided into.
According to Shi Jingtou, the bones of the current snake are mainly divided into skulls, vertebral bones, and ribs.
Among them, the skulls of vertebrates are composed of many bones. These bones must be cleverly connected in the process of development to form, and they are one of the most complicated organs.
“Most snake skull contains 41 hard bones, of which top bones, front jaw, upper pillow bone, base pillow bone and butterfly bone are single, the rest is paired. The structure is more complicated and can reach 45.” Tell the Journal of China.
Snake’s body vertebral bone is far more than other vertebrates, as small as one hundred, as many as two or three hundred. Generally speaking, the more slender snakes, the more vertebral bones. Snakes such as viper are more than 100 vertebral bones, while many snake swimming body is slender, and its body vertebra can reach more than 200. The tail spine of the snake ranges from twenty to 30 to seventy or eighty.
“Taking the erythema alpine as an example, it has a total of 553 hard bones in the whole body, and some of the hard bones of some snakes can even reach more than 700, while the human body has 206 hard bones in adulthood.”
In addition to the number of these snake bones as a reference, Shi Jingtou has been counting one by one.
“Recent” the living shape
Hydrolysis, skimming, bleaching, and assembly are the four core steps for making vertebrate bone specimens.
“First of all, use biological preparation to completely dissolve the snake’s muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues, and then remove the remaining oil through organic solvents to prevent deterioration and mold in the future. White. “
Shi Jing talked frankly that the final assembly process was the most energy -consuming and most test technology.
“The total length of the erythema alpine is only about 50 cm. The ribs are even thinner than the ordinary sewing needle. Each rib must be assembled one by one, and the damaged bones must be repaired. It takes more than ten hours. “
He laughed and said that, in addition to his sharp eyes and detailed heart, “the most important thing is that your hands cannot shake.”
It is not the most difficult to make each bone in the correct position to be cooked. “The difficulty is how to make this bone of bones recessed to make the specimen look like alive, which is also the highest state of bone specimens.”
Making animal bone specimens is a combination of art and science. Shi Jingtou believes that its artistry is reflected in how large the ribs of the snake should open, what direction of the body’s vertebra is tilted and how much bending …
Whether it is a horizontal wave -like winding, or the tail hovering snake’s head stands up, there is an attacking attitude that is ready to go. It feels like he will bite the bite in the next second.
“It is indeed a difficult thing to restore what they look like when they live.” Shi Jingtou said that this requires a lot of observations in the real ecological environment, and it is the all -year -old work that gives him full confidence. (Hu Yanqi)
Source: Journal of Science
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