View Full Version : Do high school biology students still dissect frogs?

Richard Wallace
09-29-2007, 11:34 AM
Back in the day, high school biology students (grade 10 in 1970s South Carolina) were required to dissect frogs. Smelly things, pickled in formaldehyde. (At least we didn't have to start with live frogs! :eek: )

I recently noticed this article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070927/od_afp/sciencejapanbiologyanimal_070927185409) about newly developed see-through frogs, which can be studied internally without dissection. Potentially a boon to researchers, and possibly to high school biology students.

So, does your high school still require frog dissection?

09-29-2007, 11:38 AM
Frog, earthworm, flower, fruit, fish, crayfish...I had to do all of those and then some during my biology class three years ago.

09-29-2007, 12:19 PM
We did frog dissection as part of a required class in 7th grade. I managed to avoid biology in high school, so I don't know if they make you do it again.

09-29-2007, 12:41 PM
In regular Biology, we dissect fetal pigs. I know they dissect other things in AP Biology, but I dont know what they dissect there.

09-29-2007, 12:55 PM
they did 5 years ago when I was in H.S. :D . I think I cut that class that day though to avoid that. I do distinctively remember one of the class clowns in my class kidnapping a frog and torturing people on the Bus with it. I know its not funny but it was at the time.

09-29-2007, 03:14 PM
You'll be glad to know it hasn't changed in South Carolina--actually, I did two frogs: one in 7th grade (along with an earthworm) and the other in 10th grade (along with a fetal pig). I graduated high school in 2004, so take that how you'd like.

09-29-2007, 03:42 PM
We definitely had to do the frog dissection routine back when I was in high school (unlike Richard, we did have to start with live, pithed frogs). We spent a week on it, going over every part of the frog in exacting detail. Later in college we had to dissect both a fetal pig and a natal shark in our Comparative Human Anatomy class. When we were done, we were supposed to turn in the carcass and ensure that it was disposed of properly. But of course, being somewhat creative and defiant young students at the time, we didn't. I won't go into detail on what happened afterwards, but let's just say that the salad bar in the Owens Dining Hall at Virginia Tech was never the same afterwards... :)


Chief Pride
09-29-2007, 03:42 PM
I have, but it was in middle school... poor froggies :( mutilated by bad co-ordination

09-29-2007, 04:01 PM
My daughter is taking Biology: Structure and Function of Organisms - a 2nd semester Freshman Biology class for Science majors in college -
the list of potential dissections:
jellyfish -

She likes dissecting.

My response = ewww! (I dissected in high school and college and it was the cat that got to me. The fetal pig wasn't too much fun. I think I liked the worm the best, it was little and the dissection went fast compared to the others.)

Alexa Stott
09-29-2007, 05:03 PM
At our school, we really only do fetal pigs in biology (honors biology in 9th grade or biology in 10th). The AP Bio students dissect cats. When I took honors bio, my teacher was also the Marine Bio teacher at the school, so instead of a fetal pig, we did a starfish and a baby shark, which was pretty cool.

I go to a summer science camp every year at the Douglass Science Institute at Rutgers, and we dissected frogs our first year. This past year, we did sheep hearts and a pig heart with the option of doing the fetal pigs, too.

09-29-2007, 10:45 PM
We did a mushroom, worm, crayfish, an insect (maybe a grasshopper but I don't remember), fish, and a frog. The anatomy classes do fetal pigs and I'm not 100% if they still do the cat thing (i'm almost positive they don't), or if thats a college level only thing now. And yes, Biology was required class to graduate and yes you had to participate in the dissections to get credit and pass.

09-29-2007, 10:52 PM
I don't remember too well, but I know we did worms, frogs, and crayfish in Honors Bio in 9th grade, we might have done other things too. Strangely enough, we didn't dissect anything in AP Bio, I imagine it was because we didn't have enough time to cover all the material even without dissections.

09-29-2007, 11:00 PM
We dissected fetal pigs for a week in my high school biology class, which was a mandatory class to graduate.

09-30-2007, 12:17 AM
We dissected frogs and the teacher had many frogs with little flags in them and we had to identify the organ for the test. I stayed after school along with two of my friends to help dissect the 15 frogs that were needed for the test. Each frog we opened up were noticeably different. I'll never forget my friend's comment. "its like opening presents on Christmas." Well that explains my friend's weirdness, coming from a family that wraps gifts in cadavers for the holidays.

09-30-2007, 03:35 AM
The Anatomy and Physiology class here does cats. They smell funny, stinks up the whole room. When I took biology we only barely got off the hook for dissections. Had to do a Cows eye in 7th grade though, and a squid in 6th.
In AP Biology now, no dissections yet.

Beth Sweet
09-30-2007, 05:41 AM
Well, after middle school, my class wasn't allowed to dissect things anymore.

We got through the earthworms so well! But then someone decided we were going to do squids. Yes, I know, they were asking for trouble. By the time the day was over, every drinking fountain in school had squid legs in it and the class of 2004 was declared ineligible for all future dissections...

Elgin Clock
09-30-2007, 07:39 AM
I guess my education was the youngest to disect a frog as far as I can tell by skimming the answers here..
In 6th grade we disected a frog, and I was stuck with two girls who didn't want any part of the cutting so I did that part.

My teacher said I was a natural & that I should be a Doctor or Surgeon. :D
Fun stuff.

Needless to say we all got an A on the project which was mandatory.
The 2 girls did all the labeling and paperwork, and I did the fun part. lol

In 8th grade we had an elective which I chose to be a part of.
We disected Squid just like Beth did, BUT then we made Calamari out of the parts.
Oh, and we were watching 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea while doing this btw.
Coolest class ever. :yikes:

09-30-2007, 10:28 AM
Well, after middle school, my class wasn't allowed to dissect things anymore.

By the time the day was over, every drinking fountain in school had squid legs in it and the class of 2004 was declared ineligible for all future dissections...

That sounds like a George and Fred out of Harry Potter. I'm glad you guys didn't have any wands.

09-30-2007, 01:51 PM
hehe we dissected frogs, worms, and grasshoppers long time ago. Here soon, we will be dissecting pigs!

10-01-2007, 07:12 PM
We've dissected frogs also, along with fetal pigs. When we dissected the pigs, they were smelly enough already, but since we started the dissection on a Friday, we didn't finish until Monday. Needless to say, the smell got even worse. Biology is a mandatory class here.

10-01-2007, 08:15 PM
In Honors Biology two years ago we had to dissect a grasshopper, earthworm, fish, frog, starfish (in 7th grade also), and a fetal pig. I think the regular Bio classes do only a few of those, if any. The AP Bio class does all of those in addition to a ferret, shark, and cat. Let's just say that my biology class always smelled like formaldehyde and seemed to be decorated with those huge specimen buckets. Glad I got that over with early!

To answer the question: Biology isn't mandatory, but 3 science credits are. Most people end up taking bio though because it is one of the first offered in the traditional science sequence. It is known as the easier one out of chem and physics.

10-02-2007, 01:19 AM
The AP Bio class does all of those in addition to a ferret, shark, and cat.

I was getting worried everyone would think my school strange for dissecting cats. I feel better now. :D

Scott Ritchie
10-02-2007, 07:36 AM
[QUOTE=Alexa Stott;644051] The AP Bio students dissect cats.


WOW a good cat dissection. I would pay for that entertainment.

Melissa Nute
10-02-2007, 07:39 AM
4th Grade - Fetal Pig
5th Grade - Snake
7th Grade - Worm, Then Some type of fish
9th Grade - I want to say a fetal Pig again, but I'm not positive

dubious elise
10-02-2007, 04:09 PM
Between 7th and 10th grade, I dissected a cow eye, countless earthworms, a fetal pig, a mink, a cat, a few fish, and a handful of frogs. Amazingly enough, even though I am a biology major in college, our only real dissection has been of a crayfish (we needed to test neural responses on the body cavity so we alternated soaking the ablated thorax in different concentrations of atropine and caffeine and whatnot).

Most of our actual biology lab work has been with plants, fruit flies, and proteins, though, supposedly, pre-professional majors in the same course get to do pig dissections in place of the plant work.

It is known as the easier one out of chem and physics. I wish that held true in college too!