Year 8 students had been looking forward to “D-day” (Dissection day) for several weeks. Finally, we were able to defrost the sheep’s hearts, obtained from Midfield meats, and examine their structure. Three students opted not to take part, and one was a little queasy, but we also had some budding surgeons who showed their skill with the scalpel! Students are shown here washing their hands after a successful science experiment.
Previously we have looked at the components of the circulatory system and their processes, as well as the structures and functions of the respiratory and excretory systems and will move on to the digestive system next week. In the meantime, you can watch our TeacherTube video of the Heart Dissection.
Year 8 students are asked to leave a comment here about what you learnt from dissecting a sheep’s heart and what you have enjoyed about science this semester. I will be considering these comments as I write your reports, so write your comments in full (no text talk) and be thoughtful.
Today Year 7 and 9 scientists dissected sheep’s eyeballs to learn about the structure and function of the different parts. Did you identify the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, vitreous humour and optic nerve? We obtained the eyeballs from the local abattoir and used sharp scalpels, scissors and forceps to firstly trim the fat and muscle from around the eye and then cut a small window, just behind the iris. Then we cut carefully around the brown-coloured iris to remove the cornea and iris. Inside the eyeball was a clear, jelly-like substance (vitreous humour) and the lens. The retina was brightly coloured – a shiny blue/green surface at the back of the eyeball, where the image is focussed. The optic nerve transmits nervous impulses to the brain.
Image: Paul McCoy Source: DPI Victoria
What has three hearts, blue blood and a brain shaped like a doughnut? A giant squid that’s what!
On Thursday 17th July, an immature female specimen, weighing 248kg and measuring up to 12 metres long, was dissected at the Melbourne Museum. The squid was caught by fishermen, deep off the coast of Portland and held on ice until the public dissection. You can watch a Melbourne Museum recording of the dissection here. The Herald-Sun has a short clip here.