Lab 8: Anatomy of the Rat
The purpose of this lab is to study the internal organs and systems of a rat, relating the
physiology to the observed anatomy.
This lab was a very structured and organized dissection of the rat
began by observing the external anatomy of their rat, such as the head, tail, anus, reproductive
organs, and the nose. The first internal system to be observed was the circulatory system. The
rat was placed ventral side up, and a few incisions were made to open up the chest cavity,
whereupon the students observed such organs as the heart, diaphragm, and the thymus gland.
After taking note of this system and it’s pathways, the students moved on to examine the
respiratory system, starting with nostrils, nasal cavities, and the palates. The inner mouth was
observed, then the major respiratory organs such as the larynx, lungs, esophagus, and trachea.
The next system was the digestive system, where such organs as the stomach, spleen,
small/large intestines, pancreas, liver, and rectum were removed and examined. After the
digestive system came the excretory system with the kidneys, ureter, and bladder, as well as the