eis 26: chicken wing dissection
*Note: If there is any reason you are unable to participate in this activity, send us a message in on about page and we'll get back to you soon with an alternate.
In this activity, you will get to see some muscles, bones, and tendons for yourself! You will also get to see how they move and work together.
- A bone-in chicken wing (preferably the kind with both the upper arm bones and the lower arm bones). You can also do this with a whole chicken, but we advise just using the wing for sake of not wasting resources.
- A pair of sharp scissors and/or sharp paring knife. The type of scissors you might find in a grooming kit or first aid kit work best.
- Tweezers, forceps, clamps, or small pliers.
- Some sort of probe is helpful, but not absolutely necessary. Butter knives, chopsticks, and popsicle sticks all work well.
- Disposable gloves are a good idea, particularly if you’re a little squeamish or if you have open cuts on your hands.
This video walkthrough will be helpful as you go through the procedure:
- Remove the skin from the chicken wing. Be careful not to cut or tear the underlying muscle. The easiest way to do this is to use your scissors to cut into the skin near the elbow and wrist joints and tear the skin the rest of the way off. It doesn’t have to be perfect: We are mainly just trying to get a good look at the muscle underneath.
- You should now see several muscles exposed. Take a closer look at the muscles in the lower part of the arm. Separate the muscles you see there. The easiest way to do this is to locate the tendon and slide your littlest finger or a probe underneath it. Then, slide your finger or probe all the way down the length of the muscle.
- Pull on each muscle (not at the same time) to simulate what would happen during a muscle contraction. How does the arm move? What happens when you try to pull on them at the same time? Is this even possible?
- Cut through one of the tendons partially. How does this affect muscle movement? What if you cut through the tendon completely?
- Locate a blood vessel. You may have to peel back or cut apart some muscles to find a good one. What happens if you squeeze down along this blood vessel?
- Now, remove the muscle completely. Identify the bones underneath. Note the similarities to the human skeleton.
- Snap one of the bones in half. This should be fairly easy to do by hand. What do you see inside?
If you’re having fun, we want to see it! If you have an Instagram and the permission of your relevant responsible adult,