Dissections (GMHDRNC)


Participants will learn dissection techniques and the anatomies of frogs, crayfish, fetal pigs or sharks. They will also learn anatomical vocabulary and scientific terms. Dissection-style classes are also offered for cows’ eyes and owl pellets.

Grade Level:

6 - 12

Recommended Setting:

Laboratory or appropriately stocked classroom

Outdoor Activity:



Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff


Education Program Coordinator, 870-534-0011


1.5 hours

Suggested Number of Participants:

Up to 30


  • Study the anatomy of selected species and learn dissection techniques.
  • Study the physiology of the species.
  • Understand the relationships of the organs.

Key Terms*:





*See glossary for definations


Dissection tray




Selected species (frog, dogfish, pig)

Virtual dissection CD and video equipment


Dissection allows a first-hand view of a species’ organs and muscles and how they are connected and interact and their position in the body.


  1. Prior to the class, specimens should be selected and shipped to the nature center. There will be one or two participants per specimen.
  2. Provide each participant (or group) with a dissection tray and utensils.
  3. Instruct them on the proper technique to dissect their specimen.
  4. Show an introductory video about the proper location of incisions and the order organs will be dissected.
  5. Each group will follow along so each step can be discussed.
  6. Answer any questions.


  • What was different about each specimen?
  • What were some interesting stomach contents? What does that tell about the specimen?
  • What is the relationship of organs to one another?
  • What were some physical traits that help the animal survive in its habitat?


Anterior – in anatomy, located near or toward the head in lower animals; located on or near the front of the body in higher animals; or located on or near the front of an organ or on the ventral surface of the body in humans


Dorsal – in anatomy, situated on or toward the upper side of the body; equivalent to the back in humans or toward the posterior plane in humans or toward the upper plane in quadrupeds


Posterior – in anatomy, (in quadrupeds) pertaining to the rear of the body; or (in humans and other primates) pertaining to the back plane of the body, equivalent to the dorsal surface of quadrupeds


Ventral – in anatomy, situated on the lower, abdominal plane of the body, equivalent to the front, or anterior, in a human