AN ELEPHANT, a giraffe and a shark are among the impressive beasts whose insides will be on display as a new exhibition opens in Dublin.
Almost a hundred preserved creatures and their muscles and bones will feature at the Body Worlds - Animal Inside Out show from today.
They have been kept intact by a process called plastination - replacing the water within the body with silicone rubber.
Dr Angelina Whalley, who is also married to the man who discovered plastination, Dr Gunter von Hagens, is the exhibition curator.
"Each individual cell that contained water before hand is then filled up with silicone rubber and that renders the specimen dry," she told the Herald.
"It's odourless and is more or less durable forever.
"A little more than three years was spent on the elephant alone - we calculated that over 64,000 working hours went into it," Dr Angelina said.
"It was very challenging.
"It took us more than €3m to complete so it was quite an endeavour. On a human we would work for about a year, or about 1,500 hours, and it would cost us about €50,000," she said.
The promoters expect to sell around 200,000 tickets for the exhibition which runs in the Ambassador Theatre until the end of March.