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Frog dissection help needed...

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DS is ready to do his final dissection. We bought the dead critters from Rainbow Resource to use with Apologia Biology. They've been doubled-bagged in the extra frig in the utility room since we ordered them last fall.


His dad said not to bother ordering the official dissecting tools/tray. He's been using his dad's instruments from medical school, plus a few styrofoam meat trays hot-glued together. That has worked out fine for the other specimens, but wax would have probably been a lot better for the frog.


The frog is too stiff. When he tries to pin it down, it springs back to the original position, pulling the pins out. Other than having his younger siblings hold the limbs down :tongue_smilie:, are there any other hints for loosening it up?

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My suggestion: double up your foam meat tray, and then use some short lengths of thin wire (maybe even a actual "twist ties" (twisted together for strength) that come in the box of kitchen garbage bags??) to poke down thru the wire on either side of a limb to make a wire arch over the limb and against it, and then "twist tie" the ends together on the backside of the foam tray to hold the wire arch in place, and then press flat so the tray will lay fairly flat. I suggest doubling the foam tray so the tension of the wire arch doesn't rip through just a single layer of foam tray, as the forelimbs of the frog are pretty slender. (Picture a new toy in a cardboard display box and how they use thick "twist ties" at key spots on the toy that go all the way through the cardboard and twist on the backside of the box, and you'll get what I mean.)


As far as holding back the flaps of skin across the abdomen with pins once the incision is made... you may just have to go ahead and clip the skin flaps all the way off and forget trying to hold the skin flaps open with pins if if the pins keep pulling out.


We had our box of "beasties" for over a year before getting around to dissecting them, and even though they were sealed into those bags, the earthworm was pretty dried out and it was tough to find the organs. The other critters seemed to have keep preserved a little better. BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
added info for clarity
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Tiny handcuffs!!! that made me laugh out loud right here in my kitchen!


How did the froggy dissection go? We dissected frogs last week (little pigs tomorrow, and then we are done with bio labs!) and one of the guys found the most amazing stuff in his frog's stomach! When he cut open his frog, I was wondering "what in the world is that?!" We were wondering if his frog had a tumor of some kind, but when we could not find a normal stomach, we considered that the strange form might actually be the frog's stomach. He cut it open and the walls of the stomach were paper thin and peeled back easily. Inside, we found matted gray fun. Exploring further, we discovered what seemed to be the remains of a mouse's skull, complete with dark spots where eyes would have been and the working remains of tiny jaws... That was certainly the most interesting frog dissection I have ever done or overseen! Hope yours was just as fun!



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