Dead animals are easier to display.

The Cologne zoo has a special animal exhibition on display: a collection of 20 animals including an elephant, a giraffe, and an ostrich, preserved through a process called plastination. German anatomist Gunther von Hagens became famous for his controversial exhibition displaying plastinated human bodies…

Plastination refers to a process that creates specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay and retain most of their original properties. Plastination is achieved by replacing water and fat with plastics to preserve the sample.

“We can look under the skin, the fur or the feathers of the animals,” says the zoo director Theo Pagel. “It is an insight into the animal world, into the biology of the animals, which was not possible before. It is a wonderful addition to all the living animals that we have here at the zoo.” The exhibit is open until the end of September 2011.

via Arbroath