An unexpected find

I was going to do a blog post on an app I’ve been loving lately, but instead, I’m going to save that for Sunday and share some pictures from today’s dissection instead. We’ve been studying the female reproductive system this week, and today we had the opportunity to dissect cow and sow uteri and ovaries. What we didn’t expect was that the dissection would turn into an embryology lesson, because when we cut into the uterus, we found a tiny calf fetus! Moreover, when we checked on our neighboring table, they had uncovered an almost 4 months old calf fetus!

The 4 month old calf, still in the amniotic sac.

The 4 month old calf, still in the amniotic sac.

You can see the uterus and overies at the top of the image.

You can see the uterus and overies at the top of the image.

Here they've managed to remove the fetus, and in the top right of the image, you can see the sow's reproductive organs.

Here they've managed to remove the fetus, and in the top right of the image, you can see the sow's reproductive organs.

I’m just going to let the pictures do most of the talking, but days like this remind me why I love studying veterinary medicine. How a tiny little spec like the fetus on the left can turn into a 600-kilo cow blows my mind!

A comparison of "our" fetus, and one of the more developed calves.

A comparison of "our" fetus, and one of the more developed calves.

Here we tried to compare the different developmental stages.

Here we tried to compare the different developmental stages.

It was incredible to see how far into development some of these fetuses were. Here you can see the mouth area almost ready to suckle, and below you can see the joints and eyes more clearly.

It was incredible to see how far into development some of these fetuses were. Here you can see the mouth area almost ready to suckle, and below you can see the joints and eyes more clearly.

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I hope you didn’t find this too gory, and that perhaps you will find this inspiring as well. Disclaimer, I think the fact that there were so many fetuses inside the uteri we were donated was a surprise to our professor as well. They did not kill the cows for the purpose of this dissection, we were just lucky and very grateful for the opportunity to look at these specimens.