Looking Inside Bone – 75 Informal Points (& 2 Formal for Bone Dissection) Introduction

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Long Bone Dissection: In groups of three obtain a section of cow long bone and a set of dissecting tools from your teacher. Place the bone in a dissecting tray or on a covered lab bench. Cow and human long bones have a similar general structure.

  • Use the forceps to remove a piece of the periosteum from the outer surface of the bone. You may find fragments of tendon, ligament or muscle adhering to the periosteum. In the space below, describe the composition of this membrane as well as its function.

    1. Use the dissecting probe to compare the texture of compact and spongy bone. Poke into each tissue and feel the composition of each type of bone. Describe the difference in the space below.

    1. Note the location of spongy and compact bone in the epiphysis and the diaphysis.

    2. Examine the epiphysis and find the articular cartilage; this tissue is slippery.

    3. Carefully scoop out the fat from the medullary cavity. In the space below describe the composition of this marrow as you remove it from the bone. Make sure to note the presence of any blood vessels or nerves.

    1. Identify where red bone marrow would be located in your cow bone in the space below.

    1. Get a closer look at compact and spongy bone structures by viewing each type of tissue under the microscope. (Note: you may also use the internet to look up images for each.) Compact bone may appear rock solid, but it actually contains many holes for cells, nerves and blood vessels. Draw each in the table below:

    Compact Bone

    Spongy Bone

    Magnification: ______________

    Magnification: ______________

    1. Observe a cross-section of calcified compact bone. Use colored pencils to draw and label the following structures as they appear using the 40X objective, or by looking at an image from the internet. Label the Haversian canal, osteocyte (mature bone cell) in lacuna, and canaliculi. Then, fill in the table below to describe each.

    Calcified Compact Bone

    Magnification: ______________

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