We use rapidly setting silicone materials to study the macroanatomy of wild and domesticated animals. Collecting morphological data on wild animals is important for the documentation of evolutionary changes. As soft tissue structures are more difficult to harvest and preserve than skeletons, we have prepared silicone models of the respiratory tracts of the lynx and the Saimaa ringed seal as well the structures in the multi-part stomach of an Asian rat variety to aid in research. These models are a great help in both academic research and teaching, where they can be used to illustrate various soft tissue structures. The silicone models can also be used as models in 3D digital imaging, which our discipline has used to study the structures of cow udders and as an illustration for teaching purposes.
Laakkonen, J., Kankaanpää, T., Corfe, I., Jernvall, J., Soveri, T., Keovichit, K. & Hugot, J-P. (2014). Gastrointestinal and dental morphology of herbivorous mammals: where does the Laotian rock rat fit? Annales Zoologici Fennici. 51, 153-161. [Open Access full text]
Laakkonen, J. Jernvall, J. 2016. Macroscopic anatomy of the Saimaa ringed seal(Phoca hispida saimensis) lower respiratory tract. Anatomical Record. In Press.
Vesterinen, H.M., Corfe, I.J., Sinkkonen, V., Iivanainen, A., Jernvall, J., and Laakkonen, J. (2015). Teat morphology characterization with 3D imaging. Anat. Rec. Hoboken NJ 2007 298, 1359–1366. [PubMed]