Category: Anatomy

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Skull Articulations

The top two vertebrae of the spine, the axis and the atlas form a joint (articulation) with the skull.  The superior articular facet of the atlas, shown in the photo (blue dot ) articulates with the occipital condyle on the lower surface of the skull.    The occipital condyles …

Types of Vertebrae

The cervical vertebrae are the first 7 vertebrae of the neck.   The first two (C1 and C2) are the axis and the atlas and have unique features associated with their role of holding up the skull and providing a pivot joint around which the skull can rotate. …

Atlas and Axis

The first two cervical vertebrae  are the atlas (C1)  and the axis (C2.) The atlas is named for the character from Greek Mythology who supported the globe, though in anatomy, the head is the globe.  In fact, the articular facets of the atlas align perfectly with the occipital …

Do You Need to Learn the Carpals?

This is one of the hardest groups of bones to commit to memory and you will likely forget it if you don’t use it often.  College professors and some high school anatomy teachers might ask you to learn the bones of the wrist.  The task is made even …

Pectoral Muscles

  Dissected cat shows the main muscles of the thoracic region:  the pectoantebrachialis, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and the xiphihumeralis.

Biceps, Lateral and Long Head

The biceps brachii is a two headed muscle on located in the upper arm region.  “Brachii” usually denotes structures found in the upper extremities and “biceps” means that it is a two-headed muscle.  On the cat, if you tease away the fascia you can separate these two heads. …

Large Intestine (Colon)

The large intestine has three main sections which can be difficult to identify in the cat.  Shown below is the abdominal cavity with most of the small intestine removed and the large intestine positioned in such a way to identify the three sections.  The first section after the …

Cecum and Colon

This image shows the jejunum and the ileum as it joins the large intestine (colon).  The pouch at this connection point in the cat is called the cecum.  In humans, the cecum has an attached appendage.   A valve can be found at this point in the digestive …

Stomach and Duodenum

This image shows the stomach and the first section of the small intestine, called the duodenum.  The next section of the small intestine is the jejunum followed by the ileum which connects it to the large intestine.

Jugular Veins, Internal and External

The chest cavity of the cat is opened to reveal the major veins that branch from the heart.  Shown in blue are the superior vena cava, the brachiocephalic, subclavian and the internal and external jugular veins.   

Inferior Vena Cava with Renal Vein

This image shows the inferior vena cava where it branches to the renal vein leading to the kidney.   The vessels appear blue because the cat has been injected with blue latex.

Heart – Coronary Vessels

This image of the heart shows a close-up view of the coronary vessels that are located on its surface.  The cat has been injected with latex to color the vessels (blue for veins, pink for arteries.)  Also visible is the pulmonary artery and the aorta.

Eye Anatomy

This image shows a dissected cow eye. The vitreous humor has been removed and the retina is visible a thin layer of tissue covering the shiny blue tapetum.  In cows, the tapetum is reflective and helps the animal see in the dark.  (This is also why cow eyes …

Heart – Pulmonary Trunk

The green pin in this heart indicates the pulmonary trunk which will split into the left and right pulmonary arteries.   It is the most anterior vessel of the heart and carries blood from the heart to the lungs where blood becomes oxygenated and returns back to the …

Muscles of the Chest

The pectoralis muscles are divided into three sections:  pectoantebrachialis, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor. The xiphihumeralis is named for its connection between the humerus and the xiphoid process of the sternum.  

Heart, Biscuspid

This dissected heart shows the left ventricle and the muscular wall of the septum.  The left side of the heart is much more muscular than the right side of the heart, which is why we seem to feel our heartbeat more on the left side of the chest. …


The esophagus is simple to find on diagrams, usually shown as a long tube leading from the mouth to the stomach.   On preserved specimens the esophagus can be challenging to locate.   It is soft tissue that lies next to the trachea (identifiable by the cartilage rings) …

Brains with Dura Mater

These brains are shipped with the dura mater intact.   Students carefully remove the dura to expose the soft tissue of the cerebrum underneath.