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Chicken Wing Dissection –Skeletal and Muscular Systems

ENTIRE LAB REPORT DUE NOV. xx th . Equivalent to a Quiz Grade.

Purpose: To appreciate how the muscular and skeletal systems work together to move and support a chicken’s wing.

Joint B Joint C Joint A
Joint B
Joint C
Joint A
Chicken Wing Dissection –Skeletal and Muscular Systems ENTIRE LAB REPORT DUE NOV. xx . Equivalent to

Sketch: Make a sketch similar to the one above and label as many structures as you can (humerus, ulna, radius, scapula, carpals, metacarpals, phalanges). Name the bones as if they were bones of the human arm.

Lab report: You will submit a lab report on lined notebook paper by the due date. The lab report will contain the sketch above, labeled as instructed, a completed version of the “Chicken Wing Dissection Table” on p. 3 of this packet, and answers to Discussion Questions A-H and Analysis Questions #1-7.


  • 1. Put on gloves. All students should wear gloves.

  • 2. Obtain a chicken wing, dissecting tray and dissecting equipment.

  • 3. Rinse the chicken wing under cool, running water and thoroughly dry it with a paper towel.

  • 4. Pick up the wing and imagine it is still on the chicken. Notice that the “thumb” is superior.

  • 5. Discussion Question A (answer in your lab report): Do you think your wing is from the right or left side of the chicken? Explain. You will have an observation and an inference that answers this question.

  • 6. Imagine that the wing is your arm. Move the joints and look at Figure 1 to answer these questions.

Question B: Which joint in the human body (shoulder, elbow, wrist or finger) is the equivalent to joint A? Why do you think so? Question C: Does joint A move more like a ball and socket joint or more like a hinge joint? Explain your answer. Question D: Which joint in the human body (shoulder, elbow, wrist or finger) is the equivalent to Joint B? Why do you think so? Question E: Which joint in the human body (shoulder, elbow, wrist or finger) is the equivalent to Joint C? Why do you think so?

  • 7. Examine the skin covering the chicken wing. Fill in #1 on the Table.

  • 8. Carefully cut the skin along the entire length of the chicken wing as shown in figure #1. Try not to cut

through the muscles below the skin.

  • 9. Remove the skin from the wing. This is difficult. It works best if you slide your finger around under the

skin to break some of the connective tissues then grab the skin, cut and pull hard from top to bottom.


Notice the yellowish tissue found in small clumps on the inside of the skin. As you know, this adipose tissue

is called “fat tissue.” All cells contain some fats but “fat cells” are filled with lipids. A group of “fat cells”

together make “fat tissue.”


Fill in #2 on the Table.


Observe the muscles on the wing. They are bundles of pale pink tissue.

Fill in #3 on the Table.


Follow a bundle of muscle down to the tendon. Observe the shiny white tendon.

Fill in #4 on the Table.


Notice the ligaments at the joint.

Fill in #5 on the Table.


Find a thin reddish-brown strand of tissue. Pull it aside with the dissecting needle. This is a blood


Fill in #6 on the Table.


Look at your dissected chicken wing again and use it to help you label the tendon, muscle and bone in

your sketch.


Find a tendon or a single muscle and pull on it to see how it moves the chicken wing. You might

experiment with more than one muscle.


Question F: How did the muscles move the bones? Describe or draw.


Remove the muscles and tendons from the bone to expose Joint A. Pull the bones apart at the joint.

Look for the ligaments that hold the bones together. Can you find two ligaments crossing each other?

These are the cruciate ligaments (often injured by athletes).


Question G: How did ligaments hold the bones together? Describe or draw.


Break one of the bones and look inside. It is easier to use a hammer than a knife to crack the bone. Be

very careful when doing this!


Question H: Describe what you observe about the structure of chicken bone.


CLEAN UP: Collect the chicken remains and place them in a plastic bag. As a hygienic precaution,

do not place loose chicken remains in the trash—be certain they are sealed up in a bag. Keep the gloves on your hands. Wearing gloves, first, wash off all equipment in warm, soapy water, rinse well, and put on paper towels to dry. WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER!!

Note: if you do not finish Procedures #1-17 in one period then you must write your names on the bag. Then put your chicken wing in the labeled bag. You may have the next period to finish up your observations.

ENTIRE LAB REPORT DUE NOV. xx th . Lab report grade is equivalent to a Quiz Grade.

Chicken Wing Dissection Table



Description (color, length, texture, etc.)





















Answer Discussion Questions A-H and Analysis Questions #1-7 below in your lab report. Answer questions on a separate piece of notebook paper. Answer each in one of more complete sentences.

Analysis Questions:

  • 1. What tissue of the chicken wing is commonly referred to as the “meat”?

  • 2. Why would a bird be unable to fly if there were torn tendons in the wing?

  • 3. Which two specific muscles, found in the human upper arm, are the equivalent of the chicken wing

muscles you looked at in this lab?

  • 4. Why does a chicken need to have so many different bundles of muscles attaching to different parts of the


  • 5. Read the Consumer Reports article, “Of birds and bacteria.” Which bacterial species are the most

common contaminants of uncooked chicken?

  • 6. Explain the statement, “You don’t ever want to use antibiotics when you don’t need them. The rule is, if

you use them, you lose them.”

  • 7. Explain how an awareness of bacterial contamination of raw chicken will affect your attitudes toward

cooked and uncooked chicken. Will you change anything about how you store, prepare or consume


Conclusion: Look back at the purpose. Think critically about what you learned by doing this lab. Then, in a short paragraph of 3-6 sentences, explain how bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments work together to move a chicken’s wing. Use observations to support your explanation.