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Animal Diversity
Animal Diversity

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lab, students should know...

What are some characteristics shared among all animals?

All animals are multicellular, eukaryotic heterotrophs that are motile at some stage in their lifetime and are able to reproduce sexually.

What are the seven major phyla of the animal kingdom?

Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, and Chordata make up the seven major phyla of the animal kingdom.

What can you predict by observing the form of an organismal structure?

By observing the form of a structure, we can predict its function.

What types of symmetry and tissue specialization exist in animals?

Some animals are radially symmetric, which means their bodies are symmetrical when divided along a central axis. Some others are bilaterally symmetric, therefore have mirror-image halves along a single axis. Porifera have no symmetry, thus they are asymmetrical.

What is the reason for the diversification of animals?

Animal species have specialized to function under specific conditions in different niches. This niche specialization has caused the animals to have diverse traits.

List of Materials

  • Cricket
  • Crayfish
  • Dissecting trays
  • Dissection Set (pins, needle probes, scissors)
  • Petri dishes
  • Goggles
    1 per station
  • Gloves (one box)
    1 per station
  • Dissecting Wax (20 mL/petridish)
    Dependent on the lab size
  • Dissecting microscope (1 minimum)
    Dependent on the lab size

Lab Prep

  1. Form and Function of Crickets and Crayfish
    • This lab involves dissection of both crickets and crayfish. You will need one cricket and one crayfish for each pair of students. IMPORTANT: Purchase the largest crickets available and place them in the freezer the night before.
    • On the day of the lab if they are frozen, allow the crickets to thaw for at least three hours before the dissections begin.
    • While waiting for the crickets to thaw, melt dissecting wax in a microwave or on a hotplate until it is completely liquefied.
    • Fill enough Petri dishes to have one per student pair to around halfway. Allow these plates to harden at room temperature.
    • Next set out a dissecting tray, 12 pins, scissors and a needle probe for each pair of students.
    • Also set up a few dissecting microscopes around the room and turn them on. NOTE: Generally, one microscope for four students is sufficient.
    • Then, set out a pitcher or beaker of water for students to use during the cricket dissection.


JoVE Lab Lab: 23 Prep

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