Anatomy Class Digs Deep

A student explores the insides of a frog

By Michelle Li ’17

It’s that time of the semester when anatomy classes dissect animals once again. They were given the opportunity to take a closer look at frogs on Friday, January 22.

Dissection is the process of cutting open a body. It gives students a better understanding than just studying from words in a textbook or notes. Taking a closer look at the organs and the inside of the animal helps students visualize how the body systems work.

Students of the anatomy class performed the frog dissection themselves just a week before the regents break. To prepare for their first whole organism dissection, students were shown a slideshow about frogs and a frog diagram with labels of each organ.

According to Mr. Thomas Canepa, the anatomy teacher, the purpose of the dissection was to see what vertebrate organisms look like. Since frogs and humans are both vertebrate organisms that has the same body plan, students will be able to compare and contrast the two.

During the process, the diagram was left on the smartboard as a reference. They were given a packet to complete while they were dissecting. It was a guideline for students. They checked each question off when they found a specific part or organ  in the frog. Mr. Canepa was taking out the necessary materials like scalpel, trays, frozen dead frogs and helping students around the classroom.

“I was looking forward to it because I think I practically took Anatomy just for dissecting,” Zainab Cheema ‘17 said.

As students prepared for the frog dissection, excitement and fear arouse. Some felt disgusted by the dead organisms while others were fascinated by the whole process. There were students who were eager to cut the frogs open and some couldn’t go near or touch the frogs at all.

Diana Razhap ‘17 said, “The only thing I felt was excitement. I had a worm dissection with Mr. Canepa before and we dissected bull testicles, a pregnant rat, chicken wings and chicken legs. Thus every time we did dissect, I’ve felt pleasure because it’s really interesting to find out the interiors since you already seen the exterior part. “

Amira Albagahali ‘17 said, “I was thrilled because in class we learned about the digestive system so I really wanted to see how it looked like but at the same time I was afraid to dissect it myself.

The frogs weren’t easy to deal with since they had already been frozen. Most students thought the frogs were slippery wet, hard and smelled really bad. They didn’t know that dead frogs would smell, and it left an impression on the students. A few also believed the frog dissection was a new and good experience.

“I didn’t want to dissect the frog myself so I was just observing my group members. What I found really interesting is the size of each organ. For example, the liver was the biggest in size comparing to the  other organs,” added Albagahali ‘17.

When the students found all the organs and measured the intestines length on the worksheet, a few students continued to dissect even further. They cut off the organisms’ arms, opened its mouth and their stomach.

James Ng ‘17 opened the frog’s mouth and saw that the frogs had teeth. He found the frog more interesting than their other previous dissections because there was more to work with. He was able to see all the organs in the frog and where they were.

Finding something quite shocking that caught other’s attention, Razhap used a scalpel, peeled off the frog’s skin and cut opened the frog’s stomach. She was actively engaged throughout the whole process. She found a cricket in the frog’s stomach as she then stated that this was her favorite part of the whole frog dissection.

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