Saturday, September 8, 2012

Spontaneous Bird Dissection

As it happened, Opa showed up late one evening with a Steller's Jay that he had found caught in the rat-trap. Very unfortunate and sad, of course, but we decided not to let it go to waste. The kids each wanted a dried wing, so we cut them off to dry, and proceeded further to dissect the bird.

Tal pulling back connective tissue and membranes to find the brilliant pink lungs behind the heart.
No, we didn't take health-precautions; we didn't wear aprons or masks or even gloves. We did, at least, wash thoroughly afterwards, and sterilize the cutting board and tools we had used. Hopefully we're all fine. I'm not posting this as an example to other unschoolers, because I'm not sure at all that this was handled properly, but we all learned something, the kids found it fascinating (though Rhiannon found it very upsetting, she was glad she'd participated by the next morning), and I thought it was worth sharing. Here are the photos:

Tal cut open the gizzard to see what the jay had been eating and discovered it had been a regular in the chicken coop. Hence why it got caught in the rat-trap that was intended for the coop-invading rats, I suppose!

Tal for once was very pleased to record his finds on paper. He was especially pleased with this, because just earlier he'd been talking about the different parts of the brain, and was immediately able to find the 2 lobes of the cerebrum and the cerebellum of this bird. Click this photo to enlarge it if you want to see his diagram.

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