Nothing says fun… like dissecting owl pellets…
Pellets are the undigestible remains of the food eaten by the Common Barn Owl, which are regurgitated as a compact mass of hair, bones, teeth, claws, bird’s beaks, and insect remains.
Colson’s third grade class has been studying birds in science so we decided to let the boys and a couple buddies dissect owl pellets tonight. Our “all boy” dinner conversation (Laura spent the night at a friend’s tonight and Lydia is no help because she thinks they are hilarious) teetered on the edge of bodily-function-talk all throughout. So–we followed the main course with owl pellet dissection.
I’ll admit that I started out pretty tenuous…but it was actually very very interesting.
|The boys starting the dissection…|
|The pellets are compact masses of hair and bones…a hunt for hidden “treasures”|
|Finding several vole bones|
|We found many claws and femur bones|
|I made them wear gloves…yuck.|
|Several more radius/ulna bones.|
|A better look at an owl pellet before dissection|
|Cavan found a whole shrew skull|
|The shrew skull|
|Right before the “bone trading” began…|
|“I’ll trade you my claw for your mandible”|
|I love having boys!|