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Dissecting Owl Pellets: Revealing Skeletons Inside

Fifth grade students in Mrs. Niksa Science class and Mrs. Halle Davis’ STEM class are learning about relationship of animals within food chains and food webs. To better illustrate this, students dissected owl pellets and studied the physiology of the barn owl, its habits, and analyzed the characteristics of the owl's ecosystem.

Owl pellets are slimy pellets formed by the owl's digestion system and then regurgitated. They're composed of hair, bones, teeth, feathers, scales, and insect parts. Since the stomach acid is relatively weak, these hard parts of the prey are relatively intact. So dissection of the pellet easily reveals what they've been eating.Equipped with forceps and needles, students separated the fur from the bones and other contents of the owl pellet. Then carefully they cleaned the bones, reassembled and classified the digested animal. 

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