Museum of Morphology

This scientific morphological collection is located on the campus of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and is allied to its Department of Morphology. Research, teaching and public education are intensively interrelated in this museum. The majority of objects stem from research projects and are frequently demonstrated in practicals for students, workshops and conducted tours for visitors.

Furthermore, the study of preservation techniques itself forms part of the research topics of the department. The museum is a place for veterinary students to study anatomy. However during the last years efforts have been made to increase the visibility outside the university as well. The museum is now incorporated in the structure of the G.U.M., the Ghent University Museum.

The museum houses three types of specimens, namely skeletons, plastinates and corrosion casts of vertebrate species, mainly of domestic animals. Although specimens of other species are collected to demonstrate comparative anatomy.

Skeletons

The study of comparative zoological anatomy commences with the study of the skeleton. Therefore, the morphology department keeps abreast of the latest developments in the expertise of preparing and preservating bones. Equipment for degreasing bony tissues and a Dermestid beetle (Dermestes spp.) colony are available.

Skeleton of mounted horsemanSkeleton of bovine Siamese twins (diplopagus)

Plastinates

In the plastination technique water and liquid tissues are replaced by curable polymers such as silicone, epoxy and polyester-copolymer. This process results in dry, flexible and non-toxic specimens. These qualities make the plastinates suitable didactic models and highly approachable objects for museum visitors.

Plastinate of a bovine foetus

Corrosion Casts

The UGent Veterinary Department of Morphology has a long tradition studying blood vessels. To gain more insight in the vascular anatomy, corrosion casts are created by injecting a liquid resin (monomer) into blood vessels of a cadaver. After polymerization of the resin the soft tissues are macerated.

Vascular corrosion cast of a sheep head