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World’s first plastinated giant panda exhibited in Chengdu

(People's Daily Online)    16:30, April 27, 2018

The world’s first plastinated panda was recently exhibited at a museum in Chengdu for popularization of science, Science and Technology Daily reported on April 27.

The panda, known as “Xinni’er,” died of duodenal ileus in February 2016. The Mystery of Life Museum worked with the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas to make the specimen, which took almost one year, said Sui Hongjin, founder of the museum.

Wu Jun, director of the museum, explained that this plastination technique was used to preserve bodies or body parts. Water and fat are replaced with plastic, creating specimens that can be touched, and which don’t decay or smell, whilst keeping most of their original properties.

The technology is more advanced than traditional taxidermy which only preserves the fur and skin of a creature, as this way the bones, muscles and internal organs of the panda have also been preserved.

This specimen can be used to reveal structural features of the creature during its evolution and acclimatization, according to Wu.

Wu added that the specimen produced using such technology can theoretically be preserved for almost 1,000 years. 

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