Those aren’t the pedals of a particularly exotic flower, they’re the papillae inside a Loggerhead turtle’s throat.

The inward-pointing papillae are covered in a thick mucus that helps filter out pieces of inedible material a Loggerhead might encounter—whether its invertebrate shells or actual trash—sort of like a miniature Sarlacc. Besides how genuinely weird their insides look, what makes this short video all the more extraordinary is that Loggerheads are an endangered species, meaning dissecting one was likely a rare treat for these marine biologists.

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The necropsy took place at Woods Hole Oceanic Institution. Although there are other photos, be warned that they’re significantly more gruesome.

[Laura Castenon via Imgur]


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