Trachea, Esophagus and Oral Cavity

Turn your attention to the anterior end of your pig. Find the esophagus, the trachea, and the larynx, which are labeled in the picture below. You may need to extend your ventral incision towards the superior end of the pig, and cut away additional skin and connective tissue, in order to expose these organs. Be careful not to cut into them, as they are very close to the surface! 

The trachea is rigid, while the esophagus is quite soft and flexible, and behind the trachea. The larynx is the enlargement near the superior end of the trachea.

Now, open your pig's mouth as far as you can. At each corner of the mouth, cut towards the dorsal side of the head as far as you can, so that the mouth opens all the way. Locate the pharynx. Can you find the epiglottis? Draw and label all of these structures for Diagram #6.  Using the blunt metal probe, try to follow the path that air takes from the mouth into the trachea. You can also follow the path that food takes into the esophagus.  Make sure to label these appropriately according to your rubric.

At this point you have completed all the dissection that you need for Phase I.  If you haven’t already done so, you will need to go back and complete your Diagram #2 and Diagram #5.  Now everything for the Thoracic Cavity and Abdominal cavity is exposed. 

Congratulations on a job well done!  You have reached your first milestone!  Make sure that you are using your out of class time to complete your definitions and explanations which you need to accompany your diagrams.

At this point you should begin your Phase II:  the assessment.