This is a post about a dead cat and also clavicles
We started on the cat dissection today. Never again will I underestimate the value of a fresh scalpel blade or the subcutaneous effects of formalin and fixative on fascia and perimysium. And that fur! Damn endotherms.
We got a beautiful orange and white female. Poor girl had ticks still attached to her anus. She was feral and most likely unable to be tamed suitably to be put up for adoption, and so used for dissection purposes. We appreciate her body and will continue to marvel at how she’s built. My lab partner and I take dissections fairly seriously (though we do have a lot of fun) and are especially careful about respecting, even thanking the specimen we use. It’s absolutely incredible to be able to study so intimately an animal; to see the structure and function of every tissue and organ and learn about the evolutionary steps taken to reach that point. I am indeed very lucky to be doing this, and I am very grateful to the animals I’ve gotten to look at.
Fun fact: Cats and many other extant creatures have lost entirely or have greatly reduced (cats have done the latter) their clavicles. Birds have fused theirs together (guess what the “wishbone” is), in turtles the clavicle is part of the carapace (under part of the shell), and many other quadrupedal mammals, crocodiles, salamanders, even cartilaginous (and most bony) fish just don’t have clavicles at all. So why would humans have such a hefty clavicle? Well, none of the creatures without them are terribly good at hanging from trees by their arms…