Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Exo)skeleton Costumes

Crabs have all the luck: they're already dressed for Halloween.

Scotty: "Um, I can see your skeleton."

But why are vertebrate skeletons so intriguing during Halloween? Maybe because they protect so much, but are hidden. Here we have vertebrates with their spinal column protecting their spinal cord:

Charlie Brown's skeleton: see his spine?

Blossom's short, and so is her spine.

This was just weird.
And there are so many more like this! Look them up here!

Crustaceans have an exoskeleton, meaning they don't have a spine to protect their nervous system, just their carapace. When you dissect a crab or lobster you can see their ventral nervous system easily (once you remove their organs and such):

the nervous system of a Chionoecetes bairdi female:
the clear/white cords are nerves going to each leg

a clearer drawing, from this book

Homarus americanus ventral nerve cord and ganglia (also clear/white)
are more spread out with their longer carapace (dissected during Biol 310 lab)

If anything, crab skeletons are way cooler (and a bit more creepy). Either way, have a Happy Halloween!


1 comment: