These adorable yarn dissection kits let students swap knives for needles.

Remember the first time you had to dissect an animal in biology class?

I do. For me, it was a frog. And what I remember most was the terrible smell. I may have learned about (and subsequently forgotten) a frog's insides. But I also learned that anatomy was not the academic focus for me.


Image via "Pitch Perfect."

I probably would have felt a lot differently about the whole thing, though, if my biology lab had involved one of Emily Stoneking's cuddly creatures.

Emily sells knitted dissected animals on her Etsy shop called — wait for it — aKNITomy.

The animals are a lot nicer to look at than your typical formaldehyde-soaked dissection specimen. Plus, they offer a great alternative to dissecting animals. (According to Last Chance for Animals, over 6 million animals are killed each year so that they can be dissected.)

“The real deal [of dissection] is pretty messy and there are not a lot of distinct colors, and I want it to look more like an anatomical illustration," Emily said to Bored Panda, though she admits the creatures' innards aren't completely anatomically correct.

“What I wanted to do is create an homage to science and the artists who illustrated the work of past anatomists," Emily told Upworthy. I wanted to create a piece of art where the dichotomy between gross and weird and cuddly and familiar would maybe make people stop and appreciate anatomy in a different or new way."

Emily sells animals like this frog, which she calls "the iconic image of high school biology class."

It's much cuter than the one I vivisected in eighth grade.

All photos from Emily's Etsy shop, used with permission.

She also sells this white rat, complete with tiny pink paws.

The rat also comes in a vegan version with yarn made from cotton and other plant fibers.

What's next? Emily has also started making human anatomy creations, like this bisected head:

And this awesome brain, complete with a knitted neuron:

These woolen animals and anatomy parts are awesome conversation pieces to hang on your wall, but they're also practical. After you examine your little buddy's organs, you can remove the pins and take your lab animal off the dissection table for a cuddle sesh. They're part stuffed animal, part science project.

Arguably even cooler? If you want to, you can learn about anatomy while you learn how to knit, too. Emily sells her knitting patterns and DIY kits for making your own cute, dissectible animal.

A young boy tried to grab the Pope's skull cap

A boy of about 10-years-old with a mental disability stole the show at Pope Francis' weekly general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican auditorium. In front of an audience of thousands the boy walked past security and onto the stage while priests delivered prayers and introductory speeches.

The boy, later identified as Paolo, Jr., greeted the pope by shaking his hand and when it was clear that he had no intention of leaving, the pontiff asked Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol, to let the boy borrow his chair.

The boy's activity on the stage was clearly a breach of Vatican protocol but Pope Francis didn't seem to be bothered one bit. He looked at the child with a sense of joy and wasn't even disturbed when he repeatedly motioned that he wanted to remove his skull cap.

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