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Images: Turtle Skulls Prove to be Shock-Resistant

WHOI biologist Darlene Ketten and Scott Weber from the New England Aquarium prepare to examine  a large female leatherback turtle, which died after stranding in the Cape Cod area, at the WHOI Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility (CSI). (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A loggerhead turtle that died in a stranding incident is used in an experiment to help the Navy use explosives without harming marine life. The fresh carcass is wired with sensors internally and externally to measure pressure waves received from underwater blasts. (Scott Cramer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI biologist Darlene Keten examines CT images of turtle bodies, taken before and after each experiment, to determine the location and magnitude of injuries from blast exposures. (Courtesy of Darlene Ketten, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

A three-dimensional reconstruction from CT scans shows a posterior view of a loggerhead sea turtle skull. The reconstruction shows both the skull's plate-like structure and the deep archways, which shield the ear, brain, and spinal cord from pressure waves. (Darlene Ketten, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility)

A three-dimensional reconstruction from CT scans of a Kemp's Ridley turtle. In this case, a live turtle was scanned to help diagnosis a lung disease. The tranquilized animal positioned itself in its normal underwater gliding posture. (Darlene Ketten, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility)