Thursday, July 16, 2015

Procedures for Vertebrate Zoology- Week 3

The first step we take is to thaw all the specimen that we are going to prepare from the freezer. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes depending on the specimen and size. Then we bleach the table, tray, and tools we use (scissors, scalpel, tweezers). The specimen are in bag so I take them out of that. We measure the specimen in millimeters from the snout to venter. We get tissue samples so we need to prepare a vial with a tissue number on it, and we get the number from the roll. Then we cut from the venter to the snout with scissors, and make cuts on the arms, legs, and tail for lizards, for snakes you cut cut straight up from the venter. Then, we remove the skin, preferably in one piece, and lay it flat on a clothe, and roll it up, and put it in a jar full of 70% of ethanol. We sex the specimen as well, and you have to check the anatomy to determine if it is a male or female. We also take the tissue sample. If the specimen is too small we can take a liver sample in place of the tissue sample. We keep the lizards tongue and eyes usually, and that is also preserved in ethanol. Once all the skin is removed we place the skeleton in a box lined with wax paper, and let it dry out under a fume hood for a few days. When the specimen is dry we put it in the "bug room" and the beetles eat the tissue and extra skin.

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