Print Friendly, PDF & Email
a fish skeleton

A fish skeleton

To check out fish bones, buy a whole fish from a big grocery store with a fish department. You can get them with the head and tail still on, and all the bones inside (but they will have taken the guts out). Or, go catch your own fish. Trout is easy to get and will work well, and tastes good too!

Cook the fish by broiling it whole in the oven or frying it whole in a frying pan. Don’t forget to cook both sides!

Lay the fish on a plate on its side and carefully cut from the head to the tail along the middle of the flat side, but just through the flesh on top, not all the way through. Lift off the flesh, and you’ll see the ribcage underneath. How many ribs can you count? (You can eat the fish as you go along.)

When you have gotten the flesh off the top, try to lift off the whole skeleton so you can eat the bottom half of the fish. Now do you see the spinal column and the vertebrae?

After dinner, boil what is left of the fish to get the skin off the head and the fins. Can you see the holes for the eyes? The teeth? How are the fins like your arms and legs? How are they different?

A project with vertebrae
More about skeletons

Bibliography and further reading about skeletons:

More about skeletons
Biology home