Sunday, December 4, 2011

Owl Pellet Dissection

Friday we enjoyed a wonderful morning of learning with our Nature Club friends dissecting owl pellets. This was a first for both Holly and myself! I started out by doing a small reading to the kiddos on an owls diet and how they digest then regurgitate a pellet containing the fur, bones, feathers, and such of animals. At that point the kids unwrapped their pellets and began their work.

Holly started out working through a sheet that had her take measurements and make observations of the pellet to attempt to determine what kind of environment the pellet was collected from. As well, she made a guess as to what might be in the pellet from observing the exterior of the pellet.

Many of us were surprised to learn the owl pellet they had contained more than one set of bones in it... offering a glimpse into the diet needs of an owl - they must need more than one critter if they are small critters. Holly's had two little animals but a later pellet she dissected with her Dad had a much larger animal and only one. A great comparison for her to observe.

Holly dissected the bones out of the pellet, cleaned them off and then tried to identify them on a chart - they type of bone and the animal it might belong to. She also attempted to rebuild the animals on a different chart which offered a great visual for her.

She adored this project so much - it was fascinating to her!! We will do this again in the future for certain!

Nature Club Dissection


  1. I think my younger siblings got to do that in school. I never did. (Alas!)

  2. We, or rather, my kids and their daddy dissected owl pellets, too.

    They loved it! You can see it here:

  3. Did you collect the pellets yourself, or did they (is it possible) actually come in a kit? It sounded like you had lots of resources to go along with the dissection part. Sounds like something my boys would both enjoy -- there'd be potty-humor throughout the activity, of course. :-) Visiting from Science Sunday!

  4. This is cool. We're about to do some owl pellet dissecting too, so it's really good to see what you've done. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Did you find a real owl pellet? We got to do a fake one, but I'm interested in doing a real one at some time.