Did you know you can buy hearts at the grocerry store? I didn't. I walked into associated on 133rd and Lenox and saw a beef heart sitting amounts the other meats. My initial reaction was "What? Heart?". My secondary reaction was "Yeah, I'm buying this".

WARNING: I'm going to show pictures of beef heart.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, other than look at the muscle tissue and hopefully some chambers. However after a few milliseconds, I decided to dissect it, old school style.

My friend Derek got in on the fun and we found some lab like instructions on the web for dissecting a cow heart. With a cookie sheet and some box knifes, we got started.

When we first started looking at the heart, we noticed what we thought were chordae tendineae. Since we didn't have a high school anatomy teacher with us to confirm our findings, we had to go on gut.

What I also found interesting was how deep the chambers seemed to go. The chamber size really gave you a since for the size of the animal. On the other hand though, oddly enough, some of the blood vessels seemed extraordinarily small; blood vessels that seemed to match up (location-wise) with major arteries of the heart from our lab handout.

After chatting a bit, Derek and I came to the conclusion that part of the heart was missing. We think that, at the place were they cut out the cow hearts, they cut off the not-so-muscular parts of the heart because that doesn't get eaten. So what we were left with was most of the left ventricle, a bit of the right ventricle, and hardly no atria.

Lessons Learned

  • You can buy cow heart at the grocery store.
  • Grocery store hearts are cut for consumption.
  • Hearts are pretty cool to look at.


  • To Gina for picking up a camera and taking pictures.
  • To the cow whose heart we dissected.