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Pig Trotter Dissection Lesson

Pig Trotter Dissection Lesson

Welcome to our Pig Trotter Dissection Lesson aimed at GCSE students.

We have a trotter dissection video demonstrating the methodology of the classroom dissection of a pig’s trotter.  We have included a lesson plan and risk assessments that can be downloaded or simply reviewed here.

We hope to guide pupils through discovering as much as they can from the lungs!

Aim: To explain how the structure of the synovial joint (in pig's trotter) is related to their function

GCSE Biology

Methodology:

  • Place the pig’s trotter in dissection tray and explore the bend in the toes to find a joint near the base of each. You should be able to move the toes up and down.
  • A second joint further away from the toe, like your knuckle should be visible.
  • Using a clean sharp scalpel, cut about 1mm deep vertically down the top/front surface of the trotter. The cut will be about 10cm long and cross the bumps of the joint.
  • Cut horizontally directly over the joint, your cuts will form a cross so you can remove the skin over the joint.
  • Peel back and remove the skin using shallow cuts and lifting with forceps.
  • Notice the muscle running down the trotter near the bone.
  • Bending the toes will help to show the exposed joint, it will have four white, strips running down, the tendons, which will continue down the length of the trotter. You may be able to see the cut ends of the tendons where the trotter was removed from the leg.
  • Pulling on the tendons using forceps should move the bones and be visible in the toes.
  • Cut horizontally through the tendons and the other tissue covering the joint until you reach the membrane covering the joint.
  • If necessary remove more skin and tissue nearer the toes to expose more of the joint, it should be white and shiny.
  • The surface of the joints are covered in cartilage which is white and shiny. You can use the scalpel to remove some of this and reveal the pink bone underneath.
  • Wash hands thoroughly.

 

Teaching Notes:

 This dissection will allow you to see a joint in action, as well as two kinds of connective tissue that help movement of bones and muscles; ligaments and tendons.

Over the top of the joint there are four white tough tendons. The synovial joint is the most common and most movable type of joint in the body. In the joints, the bony surfaces are covered with cartilage and connected by ligaments lined by synovial membrane. The articulating bone surfaces at a synovial joint are not directly connected to each other with cartilage so the joint can move smoothly and have increased mobility.

Observations to point out:

  • Examine the cross section cut of the trotter where it was removed from the leg, identify the differences in texture between muscle, cartilage, bone, and tendons.
  • The joint cavity is a fluid-filled space is the site at which the articulating surfaces of the bones contact each other.
  • When you cut through the membrane covering the joint cavity, a small amount of synovial fluid may leak out.
  • Samples for Schools Pigs trotter
  • Dissection tray
  • Scalpel
  • Scissors
  • Mounting needle
  • Ruler or calipers with mm divisions
  • Paper towel

AQA: Topic 4.1.1.3

Students should be able to, when provided with appropriate information, explain how the structure of different types of cell relate to their function in a tissue, an organ or organ system, or the whole organism.

Edexcel: Topic 1.2

Describe how specialised cells are adapted to their function.

Eduqas: Topic 2.1

Learners should be able to describe the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively.

OCR 21st Century: Topic: Key ideas

Students should understand the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively.

OCR Gateway: Topic: Key ideas / Topic 1.1.a (P.E)

Students should understand the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively.

Learners will be able to identify major joints along with the associated articulating bones in the knee, elbow, shoulder and hip