How do you dissect a frog?


Quick Answer

To dissect a frog, pin it to a tray, cut and retract the abdominal skin, remove portions of the ribcage, and pin back the abdominal muscles. This process takes about 45 minutes and requires a preserved frog, a dissecting tray, straight pins, a scalpel, dissecting scissors and forceps.

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Full Answer

  1. Position the frog on the tray

    Place the preserved frog on a dissecting tray with its belly facing up. Spread its limbs, and secure them with straight pins.

  2. Cut and retract the abdominal skin

    Use the forceps to pick up the skin between the frog's hind legs, and snip it with a scalpel. Use dissecting scissors to cut the skin in a straight line up to the frog's head, holding the skin away from the underlying muscles with the forceps as you cut. Make horizontal cuts from the vertical incision to each of the frog's arms and legs. Peel back the skin, using the scalpel to separate it from the muscle beneath it, and pin it to the tray.

  3. Cut and retract the abdominal muscles

    Cut the abdominal muscles with the same technique used for the skin. Lift the muscles with the forceps to avoid damaging the organs underneath them. Make a horizontal cut along the lower border of the ribcage and another horizontal cut just above the arms of the frog. Remove the bone fragments, and pin the muscle flaps to the dissecting tray. The inner organs are now exposed and ready for identification.

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