Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Owl Pellets Part 2

Last Friday we wrapped up our owl pellets experiment. Not only was it EXTREMELY interesting to discover all of the creatures our owls had eaten, but we also learned some important lessons about scientists. It became obvious pretty quickly that we had to take our time and be quite careful as we were opening our owl pellets. If we went too fast we could break or damage bones, or we could have missed some of the smaller bones completely. If we went too fast, we could also break pieces off the larger bones, especially the skulls.

Bronsyn and Rommel examining their bones

Steph and Hunter working slowly and carefully to discover bones

We all really wanted to see the skulls to try and find out what types of animals we had. By looking at the shape of the mouth and seeing the location of the teeth we could determine whether we had a mole, a shrew, or a mouse.

A pile of bones including a skull, left side of pile, and a hip bone (alone at the top)

After uncovering as many bones as possible none of the groups found remains of birds. Many of our owls had eaten either mice or shrews, but we believe we also found the bones of another small creature, a vole.

It was easy to see why it takes scientists to long to make new discoveries. In order to be safe and use the tools properly, without messing up the experiment, it takes a lot of time and perseverance to complete a task. We are really looking forward to working on more experiments to use tools and hone our scientific skills.

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