Monday, January 19, 2009

My first dissection! Pig Eyes

We had three pig eyes to work with. We got them from the nurse at the school where my mom works, and she gets them from a packing plant. That nurse teaches lots of science to the kids there, and when I went to that school, she took care of me on a day when I was feeling bad. Hi Mrs. B, if you see this! Thanks for the eyes!

Here is the first pig eye. You can see that it still has a lot of muscle attached. There were even eyelashes on a bit of eyelid!

You can also see some brown pigment showing through the sclera (white part of the eye). The sclera goes all the way around the eyeball, except for where the cornea is.

Those are my new dissection tools. I was afraid of the knife at first. The scissors are hard to use, but they are sharp.

Here I am cutting around the cornea. My hand is the one in the wrinkly glove, the other hand with the tweezers is my mom's. You can see the vitreous humor coming out. That's the clear gel inside the eye. Before we started, I thought it would squirt out, but it didn't. It just oozed.

This is the lens. It pops right out of the eyeball when you cut around the cornea. It acts a magnifying glass. We used the receipt from my knife and scissors to show you.

This is the second eyeball. This one was white on the inside, but the first one was all black in there. That flap is the iris and cornea. You can also see part of the vitreous humor on the bottom right. We put some of the vitreous humor (the part with the pigment) on a microscope slide. Under the microscope, I saw black and red-orange. The black part looks like a bunch of little balls and the red-orange part was stringy-looking.

That stub is the optic nerve coming out the back of an eye. The optic nerve sends the view from the retina to the brain.

This is that second eyeball turned inside out. The knife is pointing to the blind spot. That's where the million nerve fibers of the retina and macula leave the eye and make up the optic nerve.

This is me stretching the vitreous humor. It is strong, stretchy goo. My brother liked playing with the vitreous humor from his pig eye, too.

I loved dissecting pig eyeballs! It was fun. It was a wonderful experience. I would also like to dissect a frog eye, but I don't have one. When I grow up, I would like to be an animal medical researcher and a veterinarian.

1 comment:

  1. Cat ~ Very Cool for you! BUT, a little gross too; atleast for ME! ;) When I was in college, we disected a pig. The thing I remember the most from this is that my professor - who reminded me so much of Bill Nye the Science Guy - pulled out the intestines and cut them open. It reaked!!! I thought it was repulsive! Do you know why it smelled so bad? While I find our bodies fascinating (especially our brains), I'm thankful I don't have to do disecting in my job...I do get a little grossed out. Keep up the great work! Mrs. Metcalf