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Animals stripped bare in revealing new exhibit

A new science exhibit opening tomorrow in Germany promises to show you in vivid detail what you cannot get from any anatomy textbook.

A collection of 20 animals and sundry organs of elephant, giraffe, and ostrich, to name a few, have settled into their new home at the Cologne Zoo. German anatomist Gunther von Hagens composed the exhibit with curator Angelina Whalley.

Frank Augstein / AP

A preserved brown bear stands on its haunches at the opening of "Koerperwelten der Tiere" (Body Worlds of Animals), an exhibition of polymer preserved animals at the Cologne zoo in Germany on Thursday, April 14.

The animals have been preserved through a process called plastination.

For those unfamiliar with this term, The International Society for Plastination refers to it as a process that creates specimens that can be touched, don't smell or decay and retain most of their original properties. Plastination is achieved by replacing water and fat with plastics, preserving the sample.

Frank Augstein / AP

Preserved camels are shown during the opening of the exhibition. German anatomist Gunther von Hagens composed the exhibit, which opens on April 15 and runs until September 30.

Frank Augstein / AP

A preserved gorilla is shown during the opening of the exhibition.

Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

A man looks at a plastinated bull during an exhibition preview.

Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

Angelina Walley, wife of German anatomist Gunther von Hagens looks at a plastinate shark during the exhibition preview.

The exhibit is open from April 15 through the end of September 2011.

Related Content:

Korperwelten exhibit website
Pictures of animals great and small