Cow Eye Virtual Dissection

( In this lab, students dissected the cow eye. Below are the pictures and steps used during the process as each layer of the eye is exposed.)

1. Cut the fat around the eye

2. Puncture the cornea with scissors or a scalpel, aqueous liquid should leak out. The cornea is pinned here.

cornea, pinned

3. Cut the eye into a front and a back half.

4. Open the eye. The gelatinous fluid is the vitreous humor.

The vitreous humor is liquid to gelatin in texture, here a student is removing it with a scalpel.

vitreous humor

5. Separate the parts of the eye. The lens is the hard, sphere-shaped structure sitting on (or in) the vitreous humor.

eye parts

6. These eye parts are separated so that you can clearly see the main structures.

This student has carefully removed the iris, which can be difficult to get out in one piece. The hole in the center of the iris is the pupil.

retina

7. On the back of the eye, the thin layer of cells of the retina is being removed. The spot where they remain attached is the optic disk, which connects the retina to the optic nerve.

retina

8. The tapetum is clearly visible with the retina removed. It is blue and shiney and will reflect light. This helps a cow to see in the dark.

eye structures

9. The optic nerve can be seen on the back side of the eye, the nerve is usually buried within the fat, so it takes some work to find it and expose it.