It was a real FORD–Found On Road Dead. Actually, it was on the side of the road near our neighboring town of Lytton. Frozen stiff with a broken back leg, the poor coyote was the perfect dissection project for Mr. Rasmussen’s Biology 12 class. Oh, what fun we had!
After the squeamish of heart left the premises of the classroom, twelve eager faces gathered around the comatose body. Guided by our teachers, Mr. Rasmussen and his assistant Mr. Dunbar, we all took turns carefully skinning the hide and cutting into the abdominal region. This hands-on “tour” took us through the mouth, esophagus, heart, lungs, eyes, intestines, kidneys, and other lower prominent organs. Through careful examination, we determined that this young female coyote was malnourished, had recently eaten a mouse, and was inhabited by round worms. Constantly, staff and other students would stop by to watch our progress, but most didn’t stay long due to the putrid smell emitted by the disassembled stomach lying on the counter. The heart was also removed and washed for examination. To top it off (or actually to take the top off), we then took the skull off the body and drilled around the crown to eventually remove the brain. Unfortunately, the drill did burn a bit of the bone and threw some soft chunks of flesh at us onlookers. Despite this, we were soon rewarded with seeing a perfectly intact brain! In short, it was an incredibly awesome experience.
Note: Yes, the smells did make it a bit hard to eat lunch later. No live animals or humans were hurt in this process except the mouse – it was already dead.