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The Corlew Progeny Painstakingly Picked at a Pack of Putrid Pellets

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Here lie the skeletal remains found in Blake’s owl pellet dissection experiment. It is the skeleton of a rodent and believe it or not, we had a blast getting this rodent! Here is a quick lesson on owl digestion from Live and Learn Farm.

Owl Pellet Dissection 

1. Owl’s cannot digest the bones and fur of their prey, so they regurgitate those items … creating a fur covered putrid pellet. I actually expected it to be worse than it really was, but you could absolutely smell it! 

2. The pellet can have several rodents or just random bones from various prey. Chase, my oldest son,  dissected one pellet and he found huge bones, but no skull (a decapitated rodent?). Gage found several skulls in the same pellet but the rest of the skeleton could not be recreated due to lack of bones. Blake found the rodent pictured above.

Disclosure

Here is a great site to help you with the lesson plan. http://naturalsciences.sdsu.edu/classes/lab2.2/lab2.2.html.

Believe it or not, you can purchase owl pellets on Amazon and we love this kit because it comes with the bone chartBut be sure you either have the probes or that the kit comes with them.  The bones are so fragile that you don’t want to use your fingers to sort through the pellet. You will break these tiny fragile bones by accident! 

We glued Blake’s on a plain piece of construction paper. We used Sobo Craft Glue to glue it on the paper. (UPDATE: 1.5 years later, the bones are still stuck tight to the paper and hanging above Blake’s desk).  Blake’s science curriculum that led to this experiment is Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day.  It is a very hands-on curriculum with lots of experiments!   My Montessori-raised boys would not do well without this kind of hands-on learning! All of my boys have loved Apologia!  I love the fact that we can stick with the same product line throughout our homeschool years for science because Apologia offers curriculum from the 1st grade through high school!

This experiment led to us doing an extensive search of our farm property for “evidence” of owls on our trees.  Yes, that means we walked around looking for exactly what you think we were looking for! Poop on sides of trees! As a matter of fact, ever since this dissection, we now always look for evidence of owls.  And just in case you are curious, we still have not found a tree with “evidence”!  However, we are absolutely positive we have owls on our property because we have actually caught one by accident!  Apparently they are great at hiding their location during the day!  If you have any suggestions on how to find them, please leave a comment… we are completely stumped!  

Beautiful Eyes Staring Back at us

Until next time…

 

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Trish Corlew

Founder and Author at Live and Learn Farm
Trish has been married to her best friend, David, for 16 years and they have three sons (aged 13, 12 and 9). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!

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