Rat dissection

Lab partners: Bailey Gregorski, Katelynn , Jessie & Kilauni

May 10th 2016 The lab procedure began.

The Surgeon and the surgeon assistant cut into the rat after bathing it. They then cut into the body and take out the vital organs and observe them. The vital organs in the rat are very small and determine on if it is female or male. The purpose of this whole experiment is to look at a mammal who has similar organs and features as a human. The results of this experiment vary, however the rats have a very distinct smell and have very similar organs just like humans.


The rat is a very complex animal. Since the rat is very similar to the human body (heart,lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen) it is good to look inside of an animal that is so alike to a human, which helps with anatomy in the human body. The rat inside will be very neutral in color, and will have juices and a small amount of blood inside. Be sure to be careful and not break the ribs, or cut into any vital organs. Be sure to wear gloves and an apron and wash your hands at least 100 times!

Materials and Methods

  • Forceps
  • Probe
  • Ruled
  • Scalpel
  • Scissors
  • Magnifying glass
  • Pins
  • Tray
  • Sponge

Experimental Procedure

Step 1: Grab your rat from its body bag and disperse soap on it.

Step 2: Wash the rat in the sink to get of chemical smell, gently dry off and put back on tray, belly up.

Step 3: Examine the outside parts of the rat, and write down the explanations of what each of these pieces provides to the rat.

Step 4: Determine its gender.

Step 5: Name your rat something you'll remember (for example :Billy Bob)

Step 6: The writer should then put the name on the "body bag"

Step 7: On your paper the teacher provided, match the internal organs to their job, should be fairly simple.

Step 8: Surgeon 1&2 should work together to open the jaw with scissors to make sure for a wide finish.

Step 9: By opening the jaw, the surgeons shall now be able to notice a difference between the incisors and the molars, and the hard palate and soft palate.

Step 10: If need be, pin down the feet and arms.

Step 11: If the jaw is open enough, you should be able to use forceps and loosen the muscle from the skin.

Step 12: Cut the rats skin but follow the PowerPoint you should find on netschool. Be sure to not cut too far deep to were you break into the muscle.

Step 13: Once the skin is cut, pull it back or cut it off, and continue into cutting into the muscle.

Step 14: If need be, drain the excess juices inside of your Rat. (This is disgusting so get someone who has a strong stomach).

Step 15: The surgeons will then cut the rats tail off with forceps and the scalpel and look at the bones and muscles inside.

Step 16: You shall then follow to opening the muscles inside the throat, being careful to not cut into the trachea.

Step 17: Once you see where the trachea is, cut open the chest.

Step 18: Cut under the armpit and continue down the sides to expose the ribs. Be careful, if you break the ribs they will be extremely sharp and will cut you.

Step 19: Next you will then explain all of the functions of each of the organs in the rat on the sheet the teacher provided for your group.

Step 20: You will then take all the organs out that are on the laminated organ sheet, and place them on there. See if you can stretch the intestines out and measure them.


The data of this experiment was extremely interesting. Most all rats are male, the color and body are usually yellow/ maroon on the inside, and the smell is terrible. The smell is actually nauseating to some groups. The texture of the organs are smooth and mushy, considering they were in chemicals for so long. Certain organs are missing compared to the human body, like rats don't have a gall bladder or a uvula.


The results in the group where somewhat surprising. The whole point of this experiment was to look inside of something that is similar to the human body, and to look at each organ and dissect each part of it. However, the entire process for us didn't go as planned. We started by following all procedures by washing the rat and lightly drying him off. We put him on his back, and pinned him down. Although this may seem easy, the legs and arms were way too close together, causing us to break his arm so that he could actually lay on his back. We then followed the next few steps by looking the rat over, breaking his jaw, and then slicing him open. Breaking the jaw was rough (and tight). The forceps couldn't break through the rats clenched jaw, so Surgeon 1 and Surgeon 2 had to work hard together. One holding the jaw, and the other cracking the jaw open. The slicing part was difficult, because our rat was shriveled and the skin was extremely attached to the muscles. So Surgeon 1 and Surgeon 2 worked together to separate the skin from the overly attached muscles. Then we had to keep the muscle and the skin back, which it then kept folding back over onto the organs, which was a big burden. Then we had to remove the ribs which were a pain since our rat was shriveled. We then removed the organs one by one, which was difficult as well because it was hard to determine which organs were to be removed. The biggest difficulty our group had was that we were short one person. It was hard to look at the powerpoint at the same time as dissecting the rat, since we were picking up the slack of the person who was not there. It was really interesting though because we were all able to see organs and what they provided to the rat, and figure out what those certain organs provide for us. It gave our group and all the others a census on what each of those vital organs do.


This experiment has helped me understand more of what the human body was made up of. Even though it was a rat it helped me better understand what each part contributed to the rat and to our bodies.
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If you want more info, watch this video below to get a step by step on Rat dissection

Rat dissection ( tutorial step by step )