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Specimen of the Week 297: the Giraffe Heart

Will JRichard23 June 2017

Hello e-folks! Will Richard here bringing you another specimen of the week. A tall story with a lot of heart. That’s right folks it’s the…

Wild giraffes in Niger

Wild giraffes in Niger. Image by Clémence Delmas via Wikimedia Commons; CC BY 3.0

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We’re all heart at the Grant Museum

Emma-LouiseNicholls14 February 2014

The dissected giraffe heart

No matter who you are or where you come from, you have to admire the giraffe’s heart. It manages to pump blood up arteries in a neck that can reach over two metres in length. It is helped out by a series of valves that prevent the blood from flowing back down again (except through the veins, in which it is supposed to flow back down again). The giraffe’s heart is, surprisingly, smaller than that of mammals of a comparative body size. The heart copes with the morphology of the animal by having really thick muscle walls and a small radius. The result is a very powerful organ. I wonder if that means giraffes fall in love really easily, or find it harder to get over their exes? (more…)

Specimen of the Week: Week 106

Emma-LouiseNicholls21 October 2013

We’ve been having some conservation work done at the Museum recently, and one of our largest mounted skeletons is currently legless. Physically, not metaphorically. I don’t see that as a reason to make her hide away in shame though. Nor wait for her newly legs ‘renovated’ legs to come back, in order to celebrate how beautiful she is. So, this week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)