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For Classroom or Homeschool: The Young Scientist™ Animal Dissection Kit

Looking for an easy-to-follow dissection lab for a budding scientist that covers the basics of animal anatomy? Are you interested in finding an activity that your students can do independently? Or do you have a homeschool student who would like to work on basic animal anatomy through dissection? Then our Young Scientist’s Animal Dissection Kit is just what you need.

The Young Scientist’s Animal Dissection Kit includes 4 specimens to dissect and study: the frog, earthworm, crayfish, and grasshopper. Each specimen includes its own easy-to-follow instruction manual featuring step-by-step instructions for exploring structures, dissection, and basic inquiry. The kit comes with Carolina’s Perfect Solution® specimens, ideal for schools and homes alike because they are safe, nontoxic, and have no specially mandated disposal requirements. Learn more about this kit by reading the following excerpts from each of the kit’s dissection manuals.

Frog Dissection Manual (excerpt)

4. Find the large brownish structure in the center of the body cavity. It is the liver (3), the largest internal organ, with 3 main parts, called lobes. The liver makes a substance called bile, which helps digest the frog’s food. Gently push the liver aside. The dark, rounded gallbladder (4) stores bile.
5. The frog’s stomach (5) is a large curved pinkish structure. In the stomach, food is broken into pieces and partially digested. Notice that at the front end of the stomach (toward the frog’s head) there is a tube that brings food from the mouth. This tube and the stomach are part of the digestive system. A system is a group of organs that work together with one main function. The digestive system’s main function is to digest food.
6. Beginning from the rear end of the stomach is a long, curled tube. That is the frog’s small intestine (6), another part of the digestive system. Usable food is absorbed by blood vessels in the wall of the intestine and distributed by the blood. The small intestine leads to the large intestine (7), which carries the undigested portion of the frog’s food toward the rear of the body, where it exits as waste. Water from the waste is absorbed by blood vessels in the wall of the large intestine. The spleen (8) is a small, dark-red organ near the small intestine.

Earthworm Dissection Manual (excerpt)

Gently open the body wall. Notice the many cross-walls, or septa. Cut through the septa on each side with scissors, and then pin the body wall to the tray as shown in the photo. Insert the pins at an angle, so they will not be in the way of your observations.
Using a hand lens, locate the earthworm’s digestive organs. Food enters the mouth and then the pharynx (4). From there, it moves through the esophagus (5) to the crop (6). The crop stores food until it enters the gizzard (7). The gizzard is a hard organ that grinds up food. The long intestine (8) absorbs nutrients from food before waste is excreted through the anus.

Crayfish Dissection Manual (excerpt)

Turn your crayfish over so that its ventral surface is visible. Use a hand lens to examine the structures visible on the ventral surface of the crayfish. In your journal, draw the crayfish as viewed from this angle. Title your drawing, “Crayfish, Ventral View.”
Locate the mouth (7) and the mouth appendages. These are found just below the base of the antennae in the middle of the cephalothorax.
Locate the 2 large pincers, called the chelipeds (8). The chelipeds are used for protection and for hunting food. Behind the chelipeds are 4 pairs of walking legs (9), which the crayfish can regenerate, or regrow, if lost.
Locate the 5 pairs of swimmerets (10) located on the first 5 segments of the abdomen. Swimmerets are leglike structures used for swimming, holding larvae, and moving water over the gills.

Grasshopper Dissection Manual (excerpt)

Locate the 2 pairs of wings (5) found on the thorax. Lift the wings and locate the tympanum (6), an oval-shaped membrane used for sound detection. Also observe the fused, saddle-like structure just behind the head. This is the pronotum (7), part of the grasshopper’s exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is the hard outer layer that protects the insect’s soft internal organs.
Locate the 2 compound eyes (8), the 3 simple eyes (9), and the pair of antennae (10) found on the head of the insect. The large compound eyes of the grasshopper can see objects several meters away. The smaller simple eyes are used to detect changes in light, and cannot actually see anything. The antennae are sensory structures that help the grasshopper detect vibrations (such as approaching predators), odors, and other external stimuli.
Locate the mouth (11) of the grasshopper. The grasshopper’s mouth consists of many different chewing parts.

Opportunity knocks

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what this kit’s all about, we hope you’ll order it and give your young scientist the opportunity to use his or her inquiry skills to learn about basic dissection techniques and the internal and external anatomy of 4 very different animals. The Young Scientist’s Animal Dissection Kit comes with everything needed to complete each dissection activity and is backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Order it today!


Once students have completed the Young Scientist’s Animal Dissection Kit, they can explore other Young Scientist’s kits such as the Young Scientist’s Perch Dissection Kit and the Young Scientist’s Starfish Dissection Kit. Carolina offers other dissection kits that delve more deeply into animal anatomy. To learn more about our extensive selection of dissection kits and resources and Carolina’s Perfect Solution® specimens, visit www.carolina.com/preserved where you can also find product information and secure ordering, classroom resources, activities, and additional teaching tips.

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