Fetal pig

"Fetal pigs" are unborn pigs used in elementary as well as advanced biology classes as objects for dissection. Pigs, as a mammalian species, provide a good specimen for the study of physiological systems and processes.

Fetal pigs are the by-product of the meat packing industry and their large size makes them a good choice for study. They also allow for the study of fetal circulation, which differs considerably from that of an adult.

The size of the fetal pig depends on the age it was allowed for the mother to gestate:

Sometimes, fetal pigs are preserved in formaldehyde, a carcinogenic substance. They can be ordered for a little over $25 at biological product companies with preservatives that cause less damage to the skin. Nevertheless, gloves and goggles should always be worn when dissecting a fetal pig.


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