Natural Science Unit 22 Laboratory Activity: Dissection
Goal: to discover the structures of an organism using dissection techniques.
Materials and Equipment:
- You can purchase commercial earthworms for dissection from Home Science Tools (Earthworm plain specimens page), or you can capture earthworms after a rainy spell from your garden.
- Follow the instructions given at Biology Junction's Dissecting an earthworm site or use William Berman's excellent book, How to Dissect.
- You can preserve an earthworm you capture yourself by putting it in a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol for 24 hours, then transferring it and keeping it up to two months in a solution of 50% isopropyl alcohol (dilute 70% isopropyl alcohol from the store by adding a little less than 1/2 cup of water to 1 cup of alcohol).
- You can also purchase earthworms for dissection from Blue Spruce Biological Supply, Inc. for about a dollar. Their address is 221 South Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104. Write for their catalog first.
- Because this lab requires both the sample and a dissection kit, it can be turned in any time before the end of the school year. Please let me know if you intend to do it, however.
- Remember that you do not need to perform all the labs in order to get lab credit, so if you have objections to dissecting, you can skip this lab.
- goal for observation or hypothesis to be tested,
- equipment and materials
- enough details about the procedure to allow someone else to verify your results,
- data and description of observations
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