Saturday, January 16, 2016

Inside Nature's Giants: The Racehorse

A couple years ago, I read a post on Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog that featured a documentary of an anatomical investigation of the racehorse. And then earlier this week, the video popped up again in my YouTube recommendations. So naturally I watched the whole 45 minute video again, because it's seriously that cool.


The documentary is hosted by Veterinary Scientist Mark Evans as part of the "Inside Nature's Giants" series, and covers a wide variety of topics. Particularly, it explores racing history and lore (including details on famous horses), the evolutionary history of the horse, racehorse breeding and training, and extensive discussion of bio-mechanics.

And it all revolves around a full dissection of a 4 year old racehorse. Particularly neat details in the dissection include:
  • examination of the fore limb joints and soft tissue structures
  • a cross-section of the lower leg, including hoof capsule (omg so cool)
  • review of internal organs (such as intestines, larynx, trachea, lungs {HUGE}, heart {also HUGE}, and spleen)
  • assessment of musculature

screen shot. hope you're not squeamish about this... i just think it's SO COOL OMG

It's hard not to get a little weirdly enthusiastic about the blood and guts too, since the vets working on the dissection are clearly loving their job and are super knowledgeable (plus there's plenty of awkward nerdy banter too, lol).

So I'm sharing in case you're into that kind of thing and have a spare hour this weekend - I highly recommend checking out this documentary!

24 comments:

  1. This looks so cool. I have a friend who is a veterinary pathologist and we have had so many conversations about things along this line that get us weird looks.

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    1. Ha I know that feeling!! Totally been there w my vet tech friend.... But whatever, it's a cool topic ;)

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  2. I really loved watching that, and so did my husband. At first I was a little weirded out because it was a horse (apparently all other animal dissection are fine?) but I quickly got over it. It is fascinating. And naturally, I had to watch other episodes too!

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    1. it's definitely a little sad to think about how that horse ended up on the table... but then again, most horses are just... done... when they're gone. whereas this one got to be memorialized by a really neat investigation with a respectful and passionate team of scientists.

      but yea, i had to go watch other episodes too lol... so cool!

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  4. That looks really interesting, but I couldn't watch it. After watching Mikey die/bleed out in front of me, then sitting with him for over an hour... I couldn't. I think I'd find the info super interesting though, if I could read a transcript or something instead.

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    1. that's totally understandable, not sure i'd have the fortitude and/or interest either given those circumstances. sadly i'm not sure a transcript is available tho...

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  6. I watched this the first time around a long time ago and my m ind got blown. When it popped up again a few days go I watched again...GAH I LOVE

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    1. it's super intense but super cool, right?

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  7. Very interesting stuff! I'll admit...it creeped me out a little but I still got a lot out of it. :)

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    1. i definitely learned a bit - and was especially interested in the foreleg analysis, like when they buzzed the limb into a cross section and it was easy to see how smoothly and seamlessly the fetlock joins articulated...

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    1. definitely incredible ! and this production team seemed to have done their homework (tho apparently they were a little loose with some of the finer points, but ehh it's tv)

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  9. I want to watch, but I'm afraid to. Cadavers creep me out. I could never go to vet or meds school.

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    1. i don't blame you - i'm not super into seeing the deceased bodies of animals that were known to me. stranger animals are apparently fine tho!

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  10. That looks interesting. I might devote some time to checking that out.

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  11. I've seen slips of this before, but haven't watched the whole thing - definitely need to!! Gotta save it somewhere/somehow so I remember to back to it...

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    1. set a reminder on your phone or something lol ;)

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  12. I need to watch this! looks so interesting!

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  13. This popped up on my radar recently too! I haven't seen all 45 minutes yet but I think with the impending snowstorm tonight might be a perfect time to do it! Thanks for the reminder!!!

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    1. oooh this will be perfect for cozying up on the couch and pretending like the sky isn't falling outside (booooo snowstorms!)

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