Friday, January 6, 2012

Diggin Through Owl Pellets ... It's Not Poop You Know

I am SOOO behind in posting...I guess that is to be expected during the holidays right? I'll attempt to catch up on some of the activities we did this past month...

First and foremost we began the holiday season as we dug through owl pellets. Peanut LOVES anything owl and has for the last several years. When I heard that one of the classes in our co-op was going to be ordering owl pellets I got in on the deal and ordered 3 for our family to do at home. Sissy had dissected an owl pellet back when she was in 3rd grade and in public school and she always talked about how fun it was.

Sweet Baby continued referring to the pellet as "poop" and Peanut continued to remind her that it was NOT owl poop, but owl vomit. Based on this photo, I think that Sissy's idea of "fun" has changed a bit from 3rd grade to 7th.

Even daddy got in on the act. He was interested as well but his incredible strength got the better of him. These pellets were hard..really hard. We were using tooth picks to dig through them and it was not working well. So, daddy, decided to start poking into the pellets, and then nearly crushing them. Since the girls were hoping to find an intact skull of some rodent, poking and crushing is not the best way to go about it.

Two things amazed me about these little piles of vomit, first, how many tiny bones came out of them! It was amazing to see them. Tons of what we assume are rib bones (you can see several of them in the picture below -top right corner of the paper).

The other thing that amazed me was how much fur came out of them. The majority of the pellet is fur from whatever unlucky rodent was swallowed up by the owl. It probably would have been easier to find all the bones if we had just soaked the pellet in warm water and let the thing fall apart by itself. Either way, it was fun.


Kelly said...

Sounds interesting but also very gross.


In 7th grade science were doing that real soon too.