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Biology Lab: Dissection techniques

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Lab Exercise

Goal: To investigate animal organ systems directly.

Method: Dissect a small animal (earthworm, insect, frog, etc).


See the list of suppliers for sources of dissection specimens and equipment. You will need a specimen, dissection kit, and instructions (all available from Edmunds Scientific). Example specimens include:

OR (if you want to avoid the hassles or have objections to using animals for scientific investigations), you can do a virtual dissection. The Science Bank lists a number of virtual dissection websites; however, the retirement of Adobe Flash may mean some of these sites are no longer supported. Others (marked with an asterisk *) require a fee for use. You can download the Digital Frog for a limited time use -- 24 hours -- enough to do this lab, from their website The Digital Frog. Be sure to secure the appropriate version for your operating system.

There are also numerous YouTube videos available that will help you perform your own dissections.

Whichever you chose, you should make drawings of your findings and identify examples of each type of tissue and organ system.

Your lab report should contain a complete description of your procedure and a list of your drawings.