Hi everyone! Snowy owl here, official spokesowl for this site.
I want to explain a little bit about "owl pellets". Below you will see kids dissecting, (that means cutting apart owl pellets) and finding out what's inside them.
What exactly is an owl pellet? Well when we owls catch something to eat, we swallow the whole thing! It stays in the stomach for about 20 hours. Some of the things owls eat can't be digested, like bones, and fur. So... then we kind of spit it out, and it's in the form of a little pellet about the size of a bean. Now it doesn't go to waste because moths and beetles eat them for food. So you see everyone shares in the animal community. I hope this has explained to you guys somewhat about owl pellets, so until next time be good and every once in awhile look up in the sky and you might see me flying by.
Now, a few comments from the wonderful teacher
that helped the kids with this project:
INTRO: Each year a unit on animals is taught to the sixth graders in my school. When we finish with the section on vertebrates, we then learn about food chains, food webs, and the importance of all living things (and non-living things) in the environment. As a culmination to the unit, we dissect owl pellets. An owl pellet is the regurgitated remains of what an owl ate during the last feeding period. These remains are all the indigestible parts of its prey such as bones and fur. The students take apart the pellet to determine the animals the owl had for its meal. They are required to keep a journal of what they discover as they work each day. As each day progresses, they identify the bones and other materials they find in the pellet. At the end of the dissection, they are required to assemble and label a skeleton of the prey found in the pellet. They are then required to take a lab test. Cards with bones attached are placed about the classroom. They walk around the room, look at each bone and write down the proper name for that bone.A school room in Illinois
Dissecting in progress: Click to enlarge a photo
Stay tuned for comments about the dissecting of owl pellets.