Alternatives to Animal Dissections

Learn about the many available alternatives to animal dissections and how much they cost.

There is a wide array of alternative methods to animal dissections readily accessible for educators to incorporate into their teaching approaches.

Free resources

Anatomy Stuff has a free resources section on their website where you can find detailed anatomical information and illustrations, videos, free PDF poster and activity sheet downloads, and more.

The Science Bank has a fantastic list of online dissection resources, and they make it clear which options are free.

Other free resources:

1. While you need to review any video to make sure it is educational for your students, Youtube contains a vast amount of anatomy lectures and even real dissection videos. For example channels like Anatomy Zone.

2. Khan Academy is another free online resource, specifically aimed at providing educational (rather than entertainment) content.

3. Coursera offers free online courses on all kinds of topics, including anatomy and physiology.

4. Alison offers similar course structures (there are ad pop-ups to deal with) and is completely free including a downloadable certificate at completion.

5. Initially launched within an MIT course in 2012, edX offers free access to their courses; fees are only involved to get a certificate for completed work.

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Other helpful resources

  • The MIT-launched website, edX offers a vast variety of learning material, contributed from over 160 universities and research institutions world-wide, including the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington.
  • The AAA (American Association for Anatomy) has a section for teaching resources.
  • Curiosity Stream is an online library of documentaries on many Science, History Technology topics. There are specific courses and documentaries aimed at a younger audience. An example is this “crash course anatomy & physiology”. There is a small subscription fee.
  • National Academies offers free downloading or reading of scientific books on all sorts of topics.
  • is one of the biggest online libraries; you can check out books, conference proceedings and journals to read online for free, an hour at a time.
  • The MIT has recordings of many of their courses accessible online, including resource material for course work and lecture notes.

Some of the many other options are listed on our Animal-free Science page.

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