Squid Dissection for Beginners


One of the first dissections my students complete is on the squid. I prefer the squid over earthworms because it is so much easier to see the organs. Beginning biology students can easily open the mantle of the squid to reveal internal structures.

This dissection guide starts with the external anatomy where students identify main structures, like the arms, tentacles, jaws, and eyes.  After external structures are found, students can explore the buccal mass and remove the jaw. They can even find the esophagus attached to the buccal mass.

Students use dissecting scissors (no scalpel) to reveal internal structures like the gills, stomach and gonads are easy to observe.  Students remove the ink sac and attempt to write their name with the squid’s ink. (Photo Gallery)

Squid can be purchased frozen from grocery stores, or ordered from biological supply companies, and even Amazon.

Virtual Squid Dissection also available which shows photos of each step of the dissection.

More squid handouts and practice sheets:

Grade Level:  7-10  |  Time Required:  30-45 min

HS-LS1-2 Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.