Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dissecting owl pellets

I ordered two barn owl pellets off of the internet, so that the kids could really see what they look like, inside and out. If you are too squeamish to do a real one, there is a virtual dissecting web site that is really cool called I found it off of another blog called So, I bought a box of latex gloves, spread out my newspaper and had disinfectant wipes on hand. What I wasn't prepared for was the SMELL. Ewwww! It wasn't so bad that my kids were gagging or anything, it was just an odd smell on top of cutting open something that an owl puked up, kinda made my stomach a little queasy. Anyway, here are some pictures of our dissection.

Before we started, I soaked the pellets in some warm water to make them easier to cut into. It was still a little hard to cut and the bones weren't like I thought they would be (in a little skeleton shape). So, we were cutting out different bones and trying to figure out what this owl had eaten. I think they were both shrews.

This is what they looked like before we soaked and cut into them.

Who knows, he maybe a surgeon when he grows up.
Sammy holding a shrew's claw (we think).

Sadie didn't do too much cutting. It kinda grossed her out.

I think this was a pelvis.

This is the chart we tried to go by to identify the bones and what animal.

Lizzy retrieved a claw or toe.

My little scientists.

Not a very clear picture, but these are our bones that we dug out.

I don't know what I'm going to do when we have to dissect other animals. Aaron may have to take over in this area :)

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