I don't know if you ever met the man, but Scott Echols is really cool. (If you get a chance, go to one of his talks. They're fascinating.) So when he did a recent webinar on the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project for LafeberVet.com, I knew we were in for something great.
So what's the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project? According to Echols' website:
"A detailed description of anatomy can provide clinicians and researchers invaluable information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases for any species. Although long used for humans and selected animals, such anatomic references for commonly kept parrot species currently do not exist. The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project aims to create an accurate physical and digital anatomy reference, including a standardized basis for avian anatomy nomenclature, of a commonly kept parrot species, the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)."
[Ed note: Full warning: Some of the images on the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project are anatomy photos, so proceed with caution if you don't like looking at pictures of muscles and skeletons.]
Well, in that webinar from Lafeber, he provided some cool videos of some of his work. And they make some wicked-looking gifs.
Video 1: Computed tomography of a parrot skull
According to the website, this video is a "Digital reconstruction and video rotation of the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) head and neck. The rotation comes from one of our earlier attempts at digital reconstruction of micro CT images. The double line across the back of the skull is an artifact and later models show continuous bones. 100µm digital slices."
Video 2: Palatine luxation lateral cutaway in a macaw
Video 3: Myocyte mapping of a parrot heart
Cool videos aside, this project will help veterinarians and researchers across the board in the form of a book and online reference. It will also give us regular bird people a cool reference to look at. The Grey Parrot Project is raising funds to help finish this project. I hope this comes to pass! I know what I want to buy soon.
As the kids love to say: