Sheep Eye Dissection

Sheep Eye Dissection
Objective: Students will gain an understanding of the structures of the eye and understand how the
structures function for us to see.
Materials: Dissection tray, eye specimen, forceps, scalpel, scissors, goggles
Step 1. Examine the front of the eye and locate the eye-lid, cornea, sclera (white of the eye) and fatty tissue. Notice
the cornea is no longer clear. After the death of an organism/animal the cornea becomes clouded. Examine the
back of the eye and find extrinsic muscle bundles, fatty tissue and the optic nerve. If the optic nerve is not visible use
the probe to move the fatty tissue around until the nerve is exposed.
Front view
Back view
Step 2. Using the scissors and/or the scalpel, cut the eye in half after you place on its side. Be careful!
Step 3. Arrange the two halves of the eye as you see in the photograph.
Observe the back half:
Step 4. The semi-fluid vitreous humor that fills the central cavity of the eye that helps to maintain the shape of the
eye. The retina lines the back wall of the eye. Use forceps to lift and pull the retina back. Where the retina attaches is
called the blind spot.
Step 5. Under the retina is a shiny, reflective layer called the tapetum. This layer is found only is certain animals such
as cows, sheep, cats, etc. and helps the animal see better at night because more light is reflected around inside the
Observe the front half:
Step 6. Remove the lens. Hold the lens up to printed words. Are you able
to see anything? The lens is responsible for collecting light and focusing
images onto to retina.
Step 7. When the lens is removed you will observe an opening.
You will be looking at the pupil. Around the edges
of the pupil you will be able to see the back side of the iris.
The iris is the muscle around the pupil that acts “involuntary” to
open and close the pupil, adjusting the amount of light entering
the eye.
Step 8. Now remove the iris from the inside of the
eye using the forceps or your fingers.