Today we started dissecting a rhea. As you can see, the appearance of a big dead bird brings anticipation and joy to all. Left to right: Sarah Werning, Ashley Lipps, Drew Lee, and Jackie Moustakas.
One of the great things about dissecting a ratite is that there are lots of jobs. It's a good group activity.
From left to right by cranium position: Simon Sponberg, in from the Full lab to observe; Ryan Carney, Mastema frontman, anarchist, and agent of the state, who provided the bird; Padianites Katie Brakora, Drew, Sarah, Jackie, and yours truly.
Present but not pictured are Padianite Brian Swartz and interested undergrad Sally Pine, who were photographing the event (many thanks to Sally for taking these photos, in fact).
The bird came to us with no head. I squeezed the neck like a toothpaste tube to try to get out any gross fluid before I skinned it. I was thinking blood. I had forgotten about the esophagus, and what actually came out was a thin unpleasant light tan gruel that smelled like slightly rotten stomach contents, which I'm sure it was. It continued to plague us throughout the afternoon.
TONS more to say about this bird and the fun we had tearing it down, already, and we've got a whole 'nuther afternoon of dissecting lined up for tomorrow. Stay tuned!