Guess What? Chicken Butt!

Anatomy and Physiology for ChildrenAnatomy and Physiology for Children Explained Through the Dissection of a Chicken

Submitter: This book last circulated in 1970 (thank goodness) and was withdrawn from the juvenile section of a mid-size academic library. I’m all for drawing similarities across living organisms, but the illustrations of the dead chicken innards are just creepy and I can totally understand the expression on the androgynous human’s face if that were the outside of my body (seems to be missing a few things). Also, if dissecting a chicken is supposed to tell us about, well, us, then why do you spend most of the book explaining how we’re different? And what is on the table on the cover? Chestnuts? Chicken hearts? You decide.

Holly: This book is for children?? Its format and vocabulary are very mature. The little darlings on the cover have been put off their chicken nuggets for a while, I think.

Anatomy and Physiology for Children back cover

chicken anatomy

Chicken intestines

chicken bones

chicken bones

human skeleton

human body

human body


  1. This actually looks kind of cool. I remember a kid’s science book from the early 80’s that explained human muscle groups in term of meat cuts. Or was it the other way around?

  2. I feel like if you’re going to teach kids comparative anatomy, you should at least go for a mammal.

    1. Yeah, that was my first thought. My second thought was that the authors didn’t want to deal with reproduction, and it’s a lot easier to skip over such things in a chicken.

  3. Whenever my dad went smelt fishing I would watch him clean the fish in the kitchen sink with a lot of curiosity afterwards.

  4. If your budget runs to three whole chickens, you can use the bones to make a dinosaur skeleton. There’s probably a website that explains how.

  5. This book does not seem to know its audience. It talks about the cloaca but even a small child could look at a picture of a skeleton and understand that the human body has ‘lower arm bones’. How about mentioning the radius and the ulna?

    Even comic books in the 1950s could educate children about anatomy. I had a Donald Duck comic in which one of Donald’s nephews broke his leg. It was explained that he ‘broke his fibula, a very important bone’.

    This book needs to go because it is more confusing than helpful.

    1. 1.,This book may have been meant for science teachers, not necessarily kids
      2. In my science class, we dissected frogs. I never heard of any kids dissecting chickens
      3. Thipu’s remark about teaching kids the proper names of human bones reminds me of my pet peeve: the use of dumbed-down language in direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs. One ad says the side effects of the drug could lead to “paralysis— the inability to move”. Like DUH, people don’t know what that means? Or the ad for an immunotherapy agent that says it’s used to treat “a kind of cancer called [bla bla bla ] cancer … a kind of cancer called [mumble mumble] cancer …”. Etc etc. In other words, a kind of cancer called cancer! They think we’re stupid??

      1. Yes — in fact, they are counting on it. These ads are right on target for the intended audience, which likely does not include you — someone who would seek out prescription drugs from watching TV ads is not going to be very well educated.

        But having said that, my favorite line is the one about letting your doctor know if you have visited a place where “certain fungal infections are prevalent.” Cracks me up! What earthly good is a warning like that?

  6. I loved the face on the frontal outline of the human body. In fact, I think I new profile pic for all my social media

Comments are closed.