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Lab write up: Pig dissection Intro In the lab, everyone in the class really wanted to see the

heart. All the materials kept coming in one by one: the tray, the newspaper, the tools, and finally in a big plastic bag came the heart. You could even see the blood through the bag! When I saw the bag I thought the heart was going to be really bloody, gooey and cold. Then our group got the heart on the tray and it looked really gross. I thought it would be gooey and slippery from past experience with other animal dissections. When we all touched and it was really cold and wet, but after we washed it and dried it, it felt really dry and it was empty. The class came up with a hypothesis that was: If we dissect a pig heart, then we will find many similarities to the human heart because we have learned that mammalian hearts are similar. Prior to dissection When we looked at the heart it looked really cool and it gave me and my group butterflies in our tummies. Before we opened it we thought to ourselves, how gross, but also how cool, it would be to cut it open. When we tried to remove the outside layer of the heat, it was really difficult even though it was so thin! It took two people to finally remove some of the skin. Sometimes while we were getting ready to start the dissection we would accidentally poke the heart and it would make a small hole in the heart.

By the time we got most of the heart open, our group had gotten the hang of cutting the heart open and we also began to take good notes. When we opened it, we saw that the heart inside was a different color from when the skin was there. We had to stop one another from cutting too much so that everyone had a chance to cut! Our entire group was very collaborative and we all had jobs of our own to do, so we were very organized. Even though we all had jobs, the people that were taking notes also wanted to touch the pig heart and take off the thin layer of skin before the heart was opened, but there was one group member who kind of wanted the heart all to her/himself. I thought it was a little unfair, but at least each of us had a chance to touch the heart and take off a little piece of thin layer of skin. During dissection When the heart was opened it was so interesting because there were so many different parts and it was actually fun to take notes about it. None of us were grossed out! Some parts were thin while other parts were really thick and muscular. When I looked inside a lot of the parts were smooth and just looked like a pile of blubber that you could slide on. Even though it was a strong muscle that we had to cut, it seemed easier than I thought. We had a hard time finding which parts were which, so we did not know if we were cutting in the right spot. What we did to fix that was to look at the different diagrams that we had of the parts in the heart, so we could know where we

were cutting. Once we got the hang of it we started to cut in the right places and we did not have to ask Mr. McKinney to find other parts for us. We still had a few questions to go when Mr. McKinney said it was time to clean up, but we did get some good notes on the observations of the open heart. When we first started our entire group was a bit behind because we spent too much time on drawing the diagram of the heart and reading the whole sheet, but when we started to cut we were on track.

After dissection After we finished we cleaned up and started to discuss what questions we wanted to answer and what questions we had after dissecting. I learned two things that I had to find out during the dissection. One question I had to answer was: Which vessel carries blood to the heart and which vessel carries the blood away from the heart? I found out that vessels that carry blood away from the heart are called pulmonary arteries and the vessels that carry blood to the heart are called veins. My second question to answer was: Which is the largest artery and why? I found out that the aorta is the biggest artery because it is the main blood source after the heart. It is like a giant tube that carries blood to other little tubes around the body. The heart has two main ways the blood goes through it: the first way is where the blood enters through the

inferior vena cava/super vena cava. Then the blood enters the right atrium and goes through the tricuspid valve. Finally it enters the right ventricle, goes through the pulmonary valve, and comes out of the right of left pulmonary artery where it is sent to the lungs. The second way is it enters one of the pulmonary veins then it enters the left atrium and goes through the mitral valve. It then enters the left ventricle and goes through the aortic valve. Finally it enters the aorta and comes out of one of the three tubes of the aorta. Conclusion The hypothesis my class came up with was: if we dissect a pigs heart, then we will find many similarities to the human heart because we have learned that mammalian hearts are similar. Our hypothesis was correct because if you go search for pictures of pig hearts and human hearts and compare them, they have exactly the same parts and exactly the same places the blood flows though. Another similarity is if you look at the introduction you can see that all mammal hearts have four chambers. When I saw the pig heart and searched for a human heart on the Internet, I saw many similarities like the size and the color! It was much more similar than I thought. In this lab experiment, I learned that a pig heart is very similar to the human heart and I also learned that there is a thin and strong layer that protects the outside of the heart. Now I know that the next time I do a dissection I wont be as surprised or nervous to find what is inside.