14 Unearthly X-Rays Highlight the Inner Workings of Zoo Animals

Meller's chameleon looks like something out of a comic book on a regular day, and that's doubly true of an X-ray. This was one of many images the zoo shared. (Photo: Oregon Zoo/Twitter)

When zoo veterinarians do routine checkups, the process often includes X-rays. And whether those images are of stick-like flamingo legs or a burly tiger's paw, the results can be memorable.

The Oregon Zoo just released a series of animal X-rays taken of many of their residents. The images provide a unique look at wildlife, courtesy of state-of-the-art technology.

Responding to a question on the zoo's Twitter feed, zoo representatives said they got the X-ray images from their veterinary staff, and "intensified the white and black levels to increase clarity and reduce noise." The results are eerily beautiful.

Zoo veterinarians said using digital radiology allows them to get X-ray results more quickly, so they're able to minimize the time animals are spent under anesthesia and being examined. That means less risk for the animals, plus they're able to more easily archive the X-rays to compare them later, and can more easily share them with consultants and veterinarians at other zoos.

Here's an unexpectedly haunting look at some of the zoo's inhabitants.

This is a wolf eel. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a toco toucan, also known as a common toucan. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a Rodrigues flying fox or Rodrigues fruit bat. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a western pond turtle. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a tiger's paw. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a three-banded armadillo. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a screech owl. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a hedgehog — with a gas bubble!. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
These are the legs of a flamingo. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a fat-tailed gecko. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a beaver tail. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a dwarf mongoose. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
This is a ball python. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)