Crayfish Dissection

for Biology 110

Penn State Altoona Biology
Penn State Altoona
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601-3760


The purpose of this lab activity is to help you learn the anatomy of a crayfish and give you a better understanding of the anatomy of invertebrate animals in general.

After completing this dissection, you should be able to:

1.)Correctly identify the locations involved in the dissection procedures, and

2.)Correctly identify the locations of the major organs within the body of a crayfish.


Preserved crayfish

Dissection Pan

Dissection kit
Dissecting Pins

Table of Contents:

I.) Setup for the Dissection

II.) External Anatomy
a.) Head
b.) Cephalothorax
c.) Abdomen
d.) Rostrum
e.) Carapce
f.)  Compound Eyes
g.) Antennules
h.) Antennae
i.)  Walking Legs
j.)  Cheliped
k.)  Swimmerets
l.)  Telson
m.) Uropod
n.)  Mouth

III.) Respiratory System
a.) Gills

IV.) Muscle System
a.) Extensor
b.) Flexor

V.) Nervous System
a.) Brain

IV.) Circulatory System
a.) Heart

V.) Digestive and Excretory System
a.) Esophagus
b.) Stomach
c.) Intestine
d.) Anus
e.) Green Gland

VI.) Male Anatomy
a.) Testes

VII.) Female Anatomy
a.) Ovaries

VIII.) Cleanup
a.) Disposal of crayfish
b.) Clean equipment

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