Viper Eel, More Undersea Creatures in X-ray Exhibit

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History /via

You may have seen a moray eel and other undersea creatures, maybe while swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, StumbleUpon-ing. But what about from the inside out? The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is giving people a chance to see animals from another perspective, with a traveling exhibit called “X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out.”

It's a chance to lure us in to learn a thing or two about others that share the planet with us. Underwater creatures --- no cats (unfortunately, because the Internet loves cats).

The Viper Moray Eel featured above grows to be as long at 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet). It uses that X-rayed body to "sit and wait" for prey, hiding in a rock crevice or among the coral. The X-ray below is of an Eusphyra blochii, or Winghead Shark.

Smithsonian/Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, NMNH /via

The Smithsonian X-ray exhibit is full of images taken for research purposes. How did they do it? With a digital X-ray technique. A radiographer puts the creature on a tablet, hits the X-ray button, and records the image to a computer monitor, making it ready for immediate study, and eventual inclusion in a National Collection of Fishes.

The images here are being used to help understand the impact of environmental changes on animals of the ocean, according to the Smithsonian folks. Ask a fish, it's better than the old method, of dissection.

The exhibit is traveling the U.S. through 2015. If you want to learn more, you can buy the book, "Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish." You also can check out this cool slide-y thing that shows a fish before and after an X-ray. You control the view. Have a spine, and enjoy.

Via smithsonianmag.com/Screen capture

Tags: Animals | Oceans | Pictures