Cow’s Eye Dissection

WARNING: This graphic-heavy post is not for the weak-hearted.

As part of our KONOS Attentiveness unit, we dissected cow’s eyes this morning. I’ve had these in my frig for a week. I had to hide them in a brown bag in the back because it was mighty eerie having them stare at me as I reached in for milk!

From the front

From the back

We watched a video dissection on You Tube for instruction.

The first cut (those are my hands in super-thick gloves) was to make an entry point for scissors.

Next we had cut the whole eyeball in half with scissors. (I chickened out and passed along the scissors.)

Here’s a really gross cool shot of the vitreous humor squirting out!

Don’t worry–I threw away the containers. You don’t have to wonder if the corn I’m serving you was cooked in the dissection bowl.

We studied the inside of the iris, which is a muscle. We were all surprised last week to learn that it is actually the iris contracting and relaxing that makes for a bigger or smaller pupil. The pupil itself is actually just empty space leading into the inner eye.

That clear circular object in the corner is the lens. It is surprisingly hard and somewhat striated. When we dug into it it felt much like cartilage. That is what focuses the images that are projected onto your retina.

Speaking of the retina…

Isnt’ that beautiful?

Brooke and my friends’ girls worked on the eyes while my boys asked for blindfolds and took cover.

Well, who can blame them, really. I would have if I’d had a choice.

The only thing I’d do differently is cover my table with plastic before beginning. I just washed it six times and made sure to let the disinfectant soak in in-between washings

Coming up…Owl Pellet Dissection!

8 responses to “Cow’s Eye Dissection

  1. you are a brave mom…i am not sure how or who is going to do the science/dissection stuff at our house because i am way too squeamish. I could not do it.

  2. My oldest is HORRIBLY squeemish. You should have seen me trying to get her through biology last year! We had to do online disection…there was no way I was going to get her to cut into any kind of animal. Sigh.

    Now my son…he found a dead snake in a neighbor’s yard, and came back in to tell me that they were having great fun cutting it up and finding out what was inside. I was glad that I found this out AFTER the fact. LOL

    You are braver than I am, though. The thought of cow’s eyes in my freezer kind of freaks me out. :o)

  3. Fascinating!! I’ve got a few questions for you; maybe we’ll get a few minutes to chat this afternoon.

  4. Oh….Great Fun! My kiddos would love this. Where did you get the eye?? We must try this soon!

  5. We ordered our eyes from Tobins Lab. You can google it. Only a few dollars a piece. We also ordered the dissection tool kit with the scalpel and scissors. Of course, you could always use a paring knife and sharp scissors. Then again, would you ever use them for anything else again?! Lol.

  6. twilightspath

    A few dollars for a cow’s eye? Oh the possibilities……….hehe…….

  7. Oh my gosh–that’s AWESOME! I’m not sure why, but my FAVORITE thing to do throughout biology classes (college included) was dissection. I remember in 7th grade having to dissect a frog, name ALL the muscles, remove the muscles and such from the bones, bleach the bones and then put all the bones back together again–7th grade! I’ve dissected so many fascinating items including a worm (more times than I can remember), fish (I think this was the most disgusting because there were little fish eggs EVERYWHERE), cat, pig, shark, numerous eyes (did you know that a frog’s eye bounces?)–not sure why I remember that–and others I can’t seem to remember!! Anyway, your blog post was absolutely fascinating…thanks for sharing…stop by and say hello any time…Wendy, Trey, Alex & Noah

  8. I thought I could scroll down and look….I just couldn’t. 🙂

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