Dead Dogs Tell No Tails

If you don’t get the titular reference, we have a grave problem for which the only cure is a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon.

Monday marked the point where we reached the back end of the dog. These last few months have seen an anatomical journey from nose to tail – which ended with ‘Pelvis’. Not, in fact, tail.

So far, I’d considered the contents of the pelvis to be the same as those in the abdomen, because unlike the boundary between thorax and abdomen, there’s no obvious divide. What this lecture really communicated was how things rounded off, wrapped up and continued to the outside world, and what muscles are involved in holding it all in. This lead to a rather uncomfortable image when our lecturer began telling us about her pelvic floor exercises.
Continue reading!


Of Mice & Men (And Sometimes Rabbits)

So it’s the countdown to the big February exams, and this train isn’t slowing down for anyone! This week has been almost completely focused on embryology and hindlimb anatomy, with an ALFS exam shoehorned into the middle.

Last week, we left off embryology with a blastula. Monday’s lecture took that blastula and saw it ‘gastrulate’. If that word sounds familiar, it’s because it’s got the same root as ‘gastric’, due to the appearance of the embryo resembling a little stomach… at least to the scientist who named it. I don’t really see it myself.

Either way, gastrulation is followed by neurulation, where the early spinal column forms and the nervous system starts to appear. Continue reading!

Back Into the Swing

It’s been a week since I arrived back in Scotland, and it’s fair to say that we hit the ground running. Tuesday saw us back in anatomy lectures, this time breaking down the hindlimb into its bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves.

Honestly, the musculature of the hindlimb is named in ways that make no sense to me at all. Half the art of remembering medical terms is understanding where they come from. For example, the muscle ‘sternohyoideus’ runs from the sternum to the basihyoid bone. Sternum + hyoid = sternohyoideus. Elegantly simple.

But then we get to the hindlimb, and we meet muscles like ‘sartorius’. Continue reading!