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Marine Science Classes Participate in Dissection Labs

Starfish+are+Echinoderms+in+class+Asteroidea.+During+this+lab%2C+students+cut+off+one+of+the+star+fish%27s+legs+%28pictured+above%29+and+then+cut+the+top+part+of+the+starfish+to+see+what+was+inside.+
Starfish are Echinoderms in class Asteroidea. During this lab, students cut off one of the star fish's legs (pictured above) and then cut the top part of the starfish to see what was inside.

Starfish are Echinoderms in class Asteroidea. During this lab, students cut off one of the star fish's legs (pictured above) and then cut the top part of the starfish to see what was inside.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Wood

Photo Credit: Carolyn Wood

Starfish are Echinoderms in class Asteroidea. During this lab, students cut off one of the star fish's legs (pictured above) and then cut the top part of the starfish to see what was inside.

Sarah Hunsicker, Editor-in-Chief

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Within the past week, students enrolled in Honors Marine Science classes participated in dissection labs. The dissects follow along with the sixth chapter of the textbook. The chapter is centered around sea animals such as Sponges, Corals, Jellyfishes, Comb Jellies, Simple Marine Worms, Mollusks (Squid and Cuttlefish), Complex Worms, Crustaceans (Crabs and Lobster), Echinoderms (Sea Stars or Star Fish), and Invertebrate Chordates (Tunicates, Salps, and Lancelets).  Prior to the dissection labs, students completed crossword puzzles for vocabulary, concept maps, and guided reading questions.

Photo Credit: Sarah Hunsicker
The first dissection lab students were given small oysters to dissect. Locally, several seafood restaurants in the area have Oysters available on the menu.

The first marine animal that students dissected was the oyster which is a Mollusk. Oysters are viewed as a seafood delicacy across the coast of Delaware. Oysters are also widely known for the pearls that can sometimes be found inside of the Oysters. Students started the dissection by prying the shell open and splitting it into two. Students then looked on both of the shell and began to remove the internal parts of the Oyster. However none of the students participating in the lab found pearls inside of their Oysters. “At first it was very gross, but it is interesting to actually see inside the creatures that we have been learning about,” Senior Sarah Bennett said.

Photo Credit: Sarah Hunsicker
Students were given Squid that were just about as long as the dissection trays. In this dissection students were able to use the ink from the squid to write their names on their lab papers.

The next class period students walked into class with Squid in the dissection trays. Squid are Cephalopods that full into the Phylum of Mollusca. In this lab, gloves were provided for students. Students were able to carefully cut the squid in order to create a flap. Once created, students lifted the flap to be able to see the internal organs on the Squid. Students then carefully removed the Ink Sac, which is where Squid store their ink. At the very top of the Squid’s body there is a pointed tip, this is called the Pen. Students removed the pen from the squids body to reveal a long clear object, similar to the inside of a pen that holds the ink that is used to write with. In this part of the lab, students were allowed to take the pen and dip it in the ink left from the ink sac and write on their lab sheets with it. “I really enjoyed the dissections because allowed us to see the anatomy of the different marine animals that lives off of our coast,” Junior Kush Patel said.

The next class period students were presented with Sea Stars or as they are more commonly known as, Starfish. The Starfish is a radial symmetric Echinoderm. Radial symmetric means that the center of the body is like the hub of a tire and the arms or the tentacles are the spokes that come out of the hub. Echinoderms can only be found in salt water, there isn’t any that reside in fresh water or on land. There are two types of sub groups of star fish. There is the Asteroideas which is the classic sea stars and sun stars. Then there is also the Ophiurodias which contains the brittle stars as well as the basket stars. Students were also given the option of wearing gloves during this lab. Basic dissection tool s were handed out including the dissection trays. The lab began when students made a cut in the center of one of the Starfish’s legs and then proceeded to completely severed the leg from the body. Students then examined the severed leg which allowed them to see some of the internal organs. Following this, students were then able to cut the starfish from the point where the leg was cut off to the center of the starfish. The outer part of the starfish was removed to reveal a hard white line which could be referred to as the lateral groove of the starfish. Each leg or arm of the starfish had this and in the center of the starfish it created a small circle called circular disk. The center of the circle is the mouth of the starfish. “I really like the starfish dissection the most because I thought it was interesting to see the inside of the starfish. I never though I’d see the inside of a starfish,” Junior Carolyn Wood said.

The dissection of these common sea animals was delayed due to the snow storm back in January that interrupted classes. The dissections were supposed to happen before the midterm which would allow room for the material to be on the midterm. Students enrolled in Honors Marine Science classes are moving on to chapter 7 of the textbook now, which revolves touches the topic of Sharks. During this chapter students will be dissecting either a male shark or a pregnant female shark.

 

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Sarah Hunsicker, Editor-in-Chief

Sarah Hunsicker was born in Lewes, Delaware and is the Online Editor-in-Chief for the Viking Ventures. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, traveling,...

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Marine Science Classes Participate in Dissection Labs