Worms! Gotta love ’em.

YES!  We finally made it to the dissecting module! Unfortunately, I lost my brain and forgot my camera. My teaching partner had her iphone and was able to take photos and email them to me. I am so grateful, because I know all my 2.563 readers want to see the innards of worms. Thank you, Lynn!

In the 1.5 hours of class time, we had enough time to take a short quiz, dissect the worm, and clean up.

Everyone did a fine job with their specimens.  Two of the six specimens were in great shape, three were ok, and one was dried and flat.

At the beginning of this experiment, each student had to cut open the bag and remove the worm.  Only one girl had a problem with that, but once it was out  she was fine with it.

apologia biology

First thing to find was the clitellum.  Here I am, using my artistic side, drawing the worm and what the clitellum looks like.  It’s been a long time since I have actually drawn anything. Ok, you can stop laughing now.

apologia biology

This was the point when I told the class they had to wait to put on the gloves. They needed bare hands to look at the segments in the clitellum and feel for the setae. You should have heard the squeals, “WHAT?” “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Yes, I am! 😀   It was really cool to feel them.

apologia biology

Look at this beautiful class! Everyone is busy examining their worm. Be still my heart!

apologia biology

The hardest part of dissecting a worm, is making the first cut. It is very important to be careful  not to cut too deep and cut through any organs. Some of the class was able to do this and some were not. It was interesting for the students to see dirt in the intestines. Got a lot of ewwww…. from it. lol

apologia biology

apologia biology

The second hardest part was pinning the sides down, but everyone did a great job with it. Once everything was open, we worked our way down from the anterior to the posterior.

apologia biology

As you can see in the above photo, this worm had its intestines cut. We were able to identify all the parts, including the aortic arches and the nephridia (kind of like kidneys). The nephridia were found in only one of the worms and a magnifying glass was needed to see them.

apologia biology

Everything was cleaned with alcohol, throughly dried, and put away.  Next up will be the crayfish.  😀

If you would like to see some interesting videos of the aortic arches go to The Yucky Site and click on the link that says Heart Beat Video.  There is also one for birthing.  Very interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this section. 🙂


11 responses to “Worms! Gotta love ’em.

  1. I’m glad that you forgot your camera so that you got your picture taken! Loved the second photo…you look so “teacherly”!

    The second to last photo, on the other hand, I could have done without before breakfast.

  2. That is so coooool!

    But the worms were dead first, right? I just hate to think about them trying to squirm away. When I was in college part of my nursing prereqs was to take a cadaver lab. Which you would think would be creepy, but really wasn’t. Part of how I had to think about it, was to remind myself that people had given their bodies for us to learn, willingly. (And it is a fantastic way to learn). So I’m going to tell myself that the worms were giving their bodies for a good cause!

    • lol Yes, the worms were dead and yes they are given their lives for science. They are raised for this reason. 🙂 I didn’t have to take a cadaver class, but I did get to see one.

  3. Are you sure you won’t come to Alaska and teach science to my 2 and any others I can round up? I think you would be an excellent teacher.

    Good job.

    Oh, and I agree w/Kristy about getting to actually see you teach not just what/who you teach. 🙂

  4. Love the lab coat =) What a good, clear picture of the inside of the worm. I agree with Elaine, I want to beam my kid over to take your class.

  5. It’s nice to see you in the pictures too! They are good pictures! =) The worms seem to be good specimens, ours were dusty on the inside.

  6. Thank you for this blog and website. It helps to encourage my daughter who is doing Apologia but without the group feel of a co-op.

  7. Did you know there is a Bud Light YouTube video “you up for whatever” ad at the end of your post on 2/7/14?!

  8. Hi, Michelle! Could you tell me where you got those dissecting trays?

    • Hi Julia, The co-op already had those trays, but you can buy them from HomeTrainingTools. We no longer use them because they are a pain to clean. We now use the foam trays from the meat market at the grocery store. If you say it is for education, they’l usually give them to you for free. 🙂 You’ll need two for the frog.

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