In the science department, biology students are neck-deep in the process of dissecting fetal pigs as a part of a unit on the anatomy of the human body.
Riley Hobbs, a sophomore in Rue Graham’s Honors Biology class, and his dissection group are currently examining the inside structure and organs of the mouth of their pig.
“Today we just started with breaking the jaw of the pig so that we can see inside of its mouth,” Hobbs said.
In order to successfully observe all the different parts of their pigs, students have been carefully directed by their teachers so that the parts of the body are left intact for viewing.
“Ms. Graham has been giving us the directions to start with and then we have been making sure to follow the step-by-step instructions on the [handout],” Hobbs said. “First, we had to see if it was a boy or a girl and then we had to figure out how many weeks it had matured.”
Hobbs and his group looked at specific organs on their fetal pig to determine its gender and measured the length of the pig’s body from nose-tip to tail in order to figure out its age.
The class is only part of the way through the dissection of the pig and, so far, one of the favorite parts has been being able to see the mouth of the pig.
“[My favorite part] has been looking inside of the mouth because now we really get to see what the inside of a pig looks like,” Hobbs said. “We’ve really learned about the different parts of the body and the kinds of bones and muscles that are in the mouth.”
In order to learn about the workings of the mouth students needed to break the jaw of the pig, otherwise it would not open. So, while being one of the most interesting parts of the project, this part bothered many of the students who could hear the bone breaking as the jaw was opened.
After looking at the inside of the mouth, students will also take a glance at the abdominal portion of the pig, including its circulatory and digestive systems. Towards the end of the dissection process, the classes will also take a look at the brain and nervous system of the pig to complete the dissection.