Ted Kinsman, professor of photographic sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology, found this unfortunate expired snapping turtle at the roadside and made it the subject of his next project. What he didn’t expect was to discover a clutch of eggs within, revealed by X-ray. Turtles may have carry up to 30 fertilised eggs from a single mating, but can retain sperm without using it for several seasons if necessary. It is clear from this image how great the energetic investment in reproduction is, with much of the space within the shell being occupied by a single clutch of eggs which could occur several times every year. The image, which won special mention at the National Science Foundation’s visualisation awards, was taken using X-ray technology and coloured after exposure.
Image courtesy of Prof. Ted Kinsman and the NSF.