You know what’s great about being hosted by a major newspaper like the Times Union? Last Wednesday I had 21 hits on my blog. A sad, lonely, 21 hits. Thursday, after being featured on the front page of the TU website brought me 536 hits. And today, 317 so far. That’s pretty awesome exposure for me. So, thanks for stopping by!
As I’ve mentioned in recent entries, I’m enrolled in a Herpetology course. Herpetology is a branch of zoology which focuses on the study of reptiles and amphibians. I’ve never been really into the “herps”, mammals and birds are more my forte in the world of wildlife, but I’m interested to know more about them. They are sensitive to environmental changes, they are abundant in New York (we have snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, and lizards!), and they are fairly easy to come across. Especially in the few months as they are emerging from hibernation and beginning to breed.
The following pictures are kind of a walk through how my group conducted our dissection. The mudpuppies that we had to dissect came from Ward’s Natural Sciences, which is located in Rochester, NY. These animals were raised in captivity and then humanely euthanized for educational purposes. This is also true for the rats, frogs, pigs, etc that we’ve all dissected in general biology courses.
Depending on the sex of our mudpuppy, Dr. Losito wanted us to follow and identify all digestive organs, and then the reproductive system. The digestive system was laying on top of the reproductive organs, so we had to get through that first!
The path of digestion is as follows: mouth > esophagus > stomach > duodenum (which contains the pancreas which creates insulin) > small intestine (nutrient absorption) > large intestine (water absorption) > colon > excretion through the vent.
We also identified the lungs, spleen, liver, gall bladder, and urinary bladder.The digestive organs that we identified include: ostium, oviduct, ovary, and the archinephric duct. Our female was considered “gravid”, because she was full of eggs. Other groups also had females that showed these parts, but the body cavity was not nearly as full as ours was.
Below my lab partners Lauren Richardson and Chelsea Gendreau are trying to sort through organs so that we can find everything. In the picture below that, you can see a nice upclose picture of what a truly gravid female mudpuppy looks like.
I hope you enjoyed this brief entry, and I’m glad I got to finally post a longer entry sharing what I get to do in school. This is my LAST semester of my undergrad! I couldn’t be more happy, but I’m also a little nervous. Wish me luck this last semester and while I continue on this job hunt!