Sheep Heart Dissection

Topics: Heart, Blood, Left ventricle Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: December 21, 2012
Sheep Heart Dissection
Purpose: Sheep have a four-chambered heart, just like humans. By studying the anatomy of a sheep's heart, you can learn about how your own heart pumps blood through your body and keeps you alive!. Procedure

Observation: External Anatomy
Most heart diagrams show the left atrium and ventricle on the right side of the diagram. Imagine the heart in the body of a person facing you. The left side of their heart is on their left, but since you are facing them, it is on your right.

1. Identify the right and left sides of the heart. Look closely and on one side you will see a diagonal line of blood vessels that divide the heart. The half that includes all of the apex (pointed end) of the heart is the left side. Confirm this by squeezing each half of the heart. The left half will feel much firmer and more muscular than the right side. (The left side of the heart is stronger because it has to pump blood to the whole body. The right side only pumps blood to the lungs.) 2. Turn the heart so that the right side is on your right, as if it were in your body. Examine the flaps of darker tissue on the top of the heart. These ear-like flaps are called auricles. Find the large opening at the top of the heart next to the right auricle. This is the opening to the superior vena cava, which brings blood from the top half of the body to the right atrium (the atria are the top chambers in the heart). Stick a probe down this vessel. You should feel it open into the right atrium. A little down and to the left of the superior vena cava there is another blood vessel opening. Insert your probe into this; it should also lead into the right atrium. This is the inferior vena cava, which brings blood from the lower tissues. You can also see another blood vessel next to the left auricle. This is a pulmonary vein that brings blood from the lungs into the left atrium.

3. Sticking straight up from the center of the heart is the largest blood vessel you...
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