News Owl pellet dissection kit

Owl pellet dissection kit

-

Because an owl, like many other birds, cannot chew its food before eating, it must swallow its prey whole. As a result, the owl will swallow many things it cannot digest. After eating, an owl will regurgitate the parts that it could not digest in the form of pellets. Owl pellets are made out of bone, teeth, fur, hair, feathers and other parts of an owl’s prey that cannot be digested. Different owl species will regurgitate different sized pellets. Larger owls will tend to make larger pellets. By dissecting and studying owl pellets, scientists and students are able to learn about what an owl has recently eaten. By understanding the owl’s diet, scientists are able to better understand the food chain and the ecosystem the owl lives in. In addition, the owl pellet itself is an ecosystem that sustains life for bacteria, moths, beetles and fungi. Clothes moths are often found around owl pellets because their larvae will feed on the fur and feathers that the owl could not digest. These larvae will also undergo their metamorphosis near the pellet because they make their cocoons out of fur.

An owl pellet dissection is very easy and straightforward to conduct. An owl pellet dissection kit will include an owl pellet, plastic forceps, a wooden probe, a dissection guide, a magnifying glass, an identification key and a bone sorting chart. Students should start the owl pellet dissection by measuring the length, weight and mass of the pellet. By taking a measurement of the size of the pellet, students are then able to hypothesize which species of owl made the pellet. Using the forceps and the probe, students should then carefully break the pellet apart. After the pellet is broken apart, students should use tools in the owl pellet dissection kit to separate and clean off bones for identification. Commonly identified bones include skulls, jaws, scapulae, forelimbs, hindlimbs, ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones. Students can use their bone sorting charts and identification charts to figure out what each bone is and what species each bone belongs to. Students should be able to find bones belonging to other small birds and rodents.

Owl pellet dissections are useful in teaching students about the digestive system of owls and the owl’s ecosystem. In addition, these dissections can help students understand the food web of the ecosystem that owls are a part of.

Owl pellet dissection kit
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

Latest news

Japanese Owl Meaning and Symbolism

If you're wondering about the Japanese owl meaning and symbolism in Asian cultures, the Owl, along with Maneki Neko...

What Are the Signs of Depression in Women

Gender and depression have long been the scope of research in the field of emotional disorders; most authors believe...

Top 7 Superfoods for Men to Stay Young

Superfoods are generally regarded as targeted foods that provide the maximum nutritional benefit - thus these foods are nutritionally-dense...

Best Brain foods for Kids – Boost Brain Power and Keep Sharp

A child's brain is developing rapidly and if you want them to improve their performance in school and their...

7 of the Best Brain Foods for Studying

The foods that you eat can improve the functioning of your brain. Just like drugs, foods have amino acids,...

B12 Shots for Dogs – 10 Key Benefits

The end of 2010, my little dog -- a 7-pound Papillon -- became very stressed after a flood in...

Must read

Bankruptcy Advice in UK: A Viewpoint

Many people turned to bankruptcy for various reasons,...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you