Cleared and Stained
A chemical process known as clearing and staining reveals the skeletal anatomy (bones and cartilage) of an animal. The process helps scientists compare different species, determine evolutionary relationships and study developmental stages.
A digestive enzyme called Trypsin is used to remove all tissue except for transparent connective tissue. Two dyes are added. Alcian blue colors cartilage and Alizarin red dyes bone. Cleared and stained specimens are fragile and stored suspended in glycerin.