Cross Sectional View

A 180 pound carcass was separated into right and left sides and the right side was frozen to 26 degrees F. The lower portions of the pelvic and thoracic limbs were removed at the tibiotarsal and radiocarpal joints, and the head was removed just cranial to the atlanto-occipital joint. The right side was cut into cross-sections 1 inch in thickness to show the longitudinal progression of muscles and their relationship to the skeleton and to fat depositis. The cross-sections were allowed to thaw and pictures were taken with the cross-section being illuminated with strobe flashes. Sections A through DDD are transverse to the longitudinal axis of the carcass and extend from the distal extremities of the fibula (d) and tibia (o) to the posterior extremities of the skull. The posterior view of each section is shown. The shoulder portion of the left side of the carcass was removed at a location between the fifth and sixth rib. Then cross-sections, cut perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the thoracic limb, begin above the fibularcarpal joint. Sections EEE to VVV illustrate the muscles paralleling the longitudinal axis of the thoracic limb from a region dorsal to the scapula cartilage (l) and to the distal extremities of the radius (k) and ulna (p). Only portions of some of the muscles that run from the body to the limb are included. The diagrams accompany ing each of the photographs serve to help identify the items in the photographs more easily. In the diagrams, individual muscles are shown in a reddish pink color, bones are shown in a dark maroon, and cartilage is shown in solid black. The creamy brown areas represent fat. Each diagram’s position is identified anatomically by terms appearing to the right and below the diagram. The cross-sectional views follow the design of the porcine myology publication of R.G. Kauffman and L.E. St Clair in Bulletin 715 "Porcine Myology" published in 1965 by the University of Illinois College of Agriculture Agricultural Experiment Station.

Lateral View

The right side of a second 180 lb carcass was dissected by removing skin, fat and muscles to expose the various layers of muscle on the carcass. After a layer of muscles was removed the carcass was photographed. Each muscle that was removed was identified so the reader can have an understanding of the depth of each muscle. The muscles removed from each layer are indicated as follows:


University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Animal Science Department

University of Nebraska, Lincoln
IANR Media

Raikes School

National Pork Board
P.O. Box 9114
DesMoines IA 50306

Funding for this project was provided through the Pork Checkoff.

U.S. Pork Center of Excellence

Muscle Profiling Data Furnished By:


Briskey, E.J., Kowalczyk, T., Blackmon, W.E., Breidenstein, B. B., Bray, R. W., and Grummer, R. H. Porcine Musculature-Topography. Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin 206. 1975.

Getty, R. Sisson and Grossman’s The Anatomy of the Domestic Animal, 5th ed., volume 2. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, London, Toronto. 1975.

International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee. Nomina Anatomica. Second Edition. Excerpta Medica Foundation, New York. 1961.

Kauffman, R. G., St. Clair, L. E., . Porcine Myology. University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 715. 1965.

Meat Grading and Certification Branch Glossary of Terms. United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Marketing Service, Livestock and Seed Division, Meat Grading and Certification Branch.

Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria. World Association of Veterinary Anatomists, Hanover. 1963.

Steadmans Medical Dictionary. 26th edition, 1995. Williams and Wilkins Pub, Baltimore MD.

Weniger, Joachim-Hans, Steinhauf, Diether, and Pahl, Gerda H. M. Muscular Topography of Carcasses. Bayerischer Landwirtschaftsverlag, Munich. 1963.

Zietzschmann, O., Ackernecht, E., and Grau, H. Ellenberger-Baum Handbuch der Vergleichenden Anatomie der Haustiere. SpringerVerlag, Berlin. 1943.