Thursday, October 2, 2014


 Choclo and Oob have been really enjoying their dissections.

So far, this semester, we've done a cow eyeball, a sheep kidney, an earthworm, a crayfish, and a squid. 

Stay tuned, we have many, many more waiting in a box in my office!

We start out by looking at the outside of the specimen, finding all the parts, and wondering why things are the way the are.

The big question on the cray fish was, "Why is it's armor so spiky?"

We talked about that, and about why it had armor, and how it grew.

My favorite part of the crayfish dissection is the gills.  Those feathery things hanging out are the gills, and every one of them is attached to a leg. 

As the legs move, they move the gills through the water flowing under the carapace.  It would be like us having our lungs attached to our legs so that the faster we ran, the faster we breathed!

And, of course, I loved the squid dissection!

The only disappointment was that the preservation process had solidified the ink.

But I had not realized that each of the squid's gills were attached to it's hearts!  Very cool!

Here Choclo and Oob are looking at the suckers.

I like to use a big magnifying glass with the dissections.

 I also like to keep a few empty slides available so that we can look at things like the gills under the microscope. 

Also, in preparation for each dissection, I like to look up a video on the web.  Biology by Me is my very favorite.  He explains things very clearly and concisely, while adding interesting details.


Sue Elvis said...


I love your autumn leaf blog background. It makes me wish it was autumn here rather than spring! I shouldn't wish the months away.

Your dissection post reminds me of my uni days. I'm sure we did a squid dissection then in our zoology class. Actually we did dissections of animals from all the different classes(?). I can't remember the classification hierarchy of animals! I had a rather nice dissection kit once. I wonder where it went!

Wendy said...

Yes! What I love about home schooling: all the parts of school I liked, and none of the blah stuff!

Oob got excited about the dissections from watching Choclo, so he is starting the "kit" of all the classes of animals in order of complexity. I think it's a great way to start dissections, seeing how animals are so similar and yet so different!