Pathobiological Oddities

Note: This post contains images of biological specimens. If you do not wish to see them, please do not continue reading.


The OVC Pathobiology AHL Building. Image found here: http://www.uoguelph.ca/campus/map/ahl/

Today I ventured – for the third time this week – to the new Pathobiology building on the west side of campus.

The first two ventures had me entering the building from the North West side – where I found myself at exactly the room I wanted. As such, I didn’t actually explore the building at all.

Today was different as I entered from the North East side. Not a huge deviation for sure, but the variation in experience was extreme.

First, I found a Second Cup. This was fortuitous since I was in desperate need of a coffee. Of course, while finding a Second Cup when one is desperate for coffee might be considered by those of us who live-by-the-bean to be an almost religious event, it does not make for an overly interesting blog post. Nor does it amount to an experience that might be considered extreme.

So what brought me to write that the variation in my experience was extreme?

It just so happens that after purchasing my coffee (and – full disclosure – a maple biscotti) and winding my way through the halls to find the class in which I was to lecture, I stumbled on a wall of pathobiological oddities. Specifically, a wall of preserved specimens. These included pig and canine fetuses, bovine brains, organs and tissues from various animals, and so on. Of particular interest were those specimens that exhibited developmental pathologies – extra limbs, deformities, etc.

I’ve included several pictures below so that you might get a sense of what I saw today. You may not want to view them if you are easily queasy. Or, you may wish to check them out in person.

All I know is that after 18 years on this campus, I’m still finding things that amaze me.


The wall of specimens. How I missed this on my first visit to the building is beyond me.
I have no idea what caused this skull deformation, but it does not look pleasant.
Organs and various tissues.
A pig fetus with extra limbs.
And another one.
Preserved bovine brains.
Various worms (I think) and centipedes.
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