Earlier this month at Hunan Province Tumor Hospital, a 60-year old sea turtle weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds) received a CT scan (computed tomography) to determine why it was having breathing difficulties.
Due to the turtle’s enormous size, it would only fit through a CT machine with a width of 80 centimeters (2.5 feet), which is the largest one available.
The word, tomography derives from two Greek words, tomos (slice) and graphein (to write). This medical imaging method is digital geometry and involves making a map of the body for the exam, which allows veterinarians to examine each area thoroughly. A three-dimensional image of the animal’s insides is made from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.
The results of the CT indicated that the ailing turtle was suffering from an inflammation of the lungs, which it is expected veterinarians would now be able to treat.
Check out this video below, which shows the process of the CT from beginning to end on another Loggerhead Sea Turtle at the Baltimore, Maryland Aquarium.
Be well, turtle. Be well.