Friday, August 22, 2014

Dissection: Let's Take A Look Inside The Heart!

This post contains images of a heart dissection. There is no blood in the heart or in these pictures, but there are several close up images of the dissected heart and muscular cells! 

When Kat and I were learning about the heart and cardiovascular system, we really wanted to get an in depth understanding about the human heart and how it works. We had built a model of a pump to mimic a heart, we had made up a circulation game with little blood cell pieces, and we had even made an anatomically correct model of the human heart! What we hadn't done, was look at a real heart, in the flesh, and see how we we learned looked in reality.

For this, we turned to the tried and true method of biological dissection! A biological dissection is a very detailed examination of a deceased (and sometimes preserved) plant or animal. It often involves cutting it open at specific points to get a good look at the inner workings of the organism. Kat is no stranger to doing dissections, as she did her first when she was four years old. She had found a giant crab spider that had perished in our office and wanted to take a look at it. She actually made a fascinating discovery, that spiders have almost metallic looking springs loaded in their pedipalps (pads on their front two legs) that they use in mating!

Kat's crab spider dissection, featured in
The Not So Creepy Crawlies