We completed a virtual chicken wing lab last week and we watched a video about a chicken wing dissection. I learned that a chicken wing is similar to the structure of our arm. The video showed how to dissect a chicken wing and to examine the different parts of the chicken wing.
Here are the steps to complete the chicken wing dissection:
- Rinse the wing and pat it dry with a paper towel before placing the wing in the dissection tray.
- Make an incision by using dissection scissors from the upper part of the wing to the wing tip. Do not cut the muscle. Lift the skin by using tweezers and cut the skin.
- Pull the skin away from the wing so that a layer of yellow fat is shown. Since fat is greasy, blot it dry with a paper towel. Fat serves to insulate the deeper tissues and to store energy.
- Observe the muscles, blood vessels and nerves. The muscles are pale pink that surround the bone. The blood vessels are thin red lines running with the muscles. Nerves are thin white strings near the blood vessels.
- Using a dissection probe, find the tendons. Tendons connect the muscle to the bone. They are shiny white chord-like structures at the end of the muscles.
- Remove muscles and tendons from the bone and examine the outer cover periosteum of the bone.
- Then, break a part of the bone. Observe the structure of the bone – compact bone, bone marrow, ligaments, and cartilage.
- Clean up your station when finished with the dissection.
In a chicken wing, the types of tissue that makes up the “meat” of the chicken are the biceps and triceps muscles. When you pull on the triceps, the triceps contract and the biceps relax. When you pull on the biceps muscle, the biceps contract and the triceps relax. These muscles are known as extensor and flexor. An extensor is a muscle that extends/straightens a limb. A flexor is a muscle that contracts/bends a limb.
There are different parts of the chicken and the functions that we have learned in this lab. One part is the ligament, which connects one bone to another and provides stability. Another is the tendon, which attaches a muscle to a bone and serves to move the bone. Another is the cartilage found at a joint, which reduces friction and protects the ends of the bones when the bones move.
Based on my observations, muscles work in “opposing pairs” to move bones because the muscles can only contract and they need the opposing muscle to pull in the opposite direction. For example, when you pull on the triceps muscle, the triceps contract and the biceps relax.