Like the anatomy of the human body, many animals also have very similar characteristics; for example, the eye of a cow as well as the organs of a pig. For the sake of a beginner’s guide to dissection, my class learned about dissecting a chicken wing, whose features parallel to those of human beings. Parallel to the human body, the “meat” of a chicken wing is also made of muscle tissue, fat or Adipose tissue, tendons, and cartilage. For the Virtual Chicken Wing Lab, we watched a video on the dissection process of a chicken wing, as well as learned about the antagonistic partners in relation to bone movement. After watching the video, we were prompted with a few questions on what we learned.
Although the Chicken Wing Dissection Video was essentially a virtual dissection, I still learned a lot. Most importantly, I learned about the steps involved to properly dissect and reveal the chicken’s inner ligaments, tendons, cartilage, etc.
- Rinse and pat the chicken wing with a paper towel until it is dry.
- Use scissors to make an incision from the upper part of the wing to the tip of the wing.
- When cutting, snip away from the muscle
- Pull the skin away from the muscle to reveal a layer or fat
- Pat the fat dry to avoid a greasy chicken wing
- Find a light pink substance- this is the muscle
- Observe the blood vessels and nerves
- Use a dissection probe to find the wing’s tendons
- Remove the muscles and tendons to uncover the periosteum
- Bend and break one of the small bones from the lower portion of the chicken wing
- Use a paper towel for a sturdier grip
- Observe the bone, in particular the compact bone, bone marrow, ligaments, and cartilage
- Clean the station with spray
- Thoroughly wash hands
After watching the video and reading about antagonistic partners, I learned new concepts as well as new vocabulary words. For example, I learned the meanings and/or functions of the words extensor, flexor, ligaments, tendons, fat and cartilage.
- An extensor is a muscle used to extend/ straighten a joint.
- A flexor is a muscle that is used to “flex” or bend a joint.
- Ligaments are strong cord-like structures that connect the ends of bones together. Ligaments mainly work with joints to provide stability and prevent motions that could harm a joint.
- The function of tendons is to connect muscles to bones. Tendons stabilize and regulate impact created by muscle tissue
- Fat tissue insulates and retains heat and acts as a layer of padding for the body’s organs. It is also used to store energy.
- The function of the cartilage found at a joint is to decrease impact and friction between bones during joint movement.
One of the main takeaways of this lab was the understanding of antagonistic partners. Similar to the Neurotransmitter Lab, I learned about how muscles complement one another; muscles have antagonist partners (for example the biceps and triceps) that work together to allow bones to move because muscles cannot stretch themselves. These partners act like a seesaw; as one muscle contracts, the other relaxes. So, when the biceps contract, the triceps relax and vice versa. As the biceps contract, the elbow hinges. As the triceps contract, the elbow straightens. In other words, in order to move, when the biceps flex to picking something up, the triceps have to relax; as the biceps relax, the triceps extend, allowing joint and bone movement to straighten the elbow.