Owl Pellet Dissection

Q1: Observation before dissection: Give a description of what you owl pellet looked like before you started to dissect it. What was its’ size, color, texture, etc…
Our owl pellet was round and brown, measured at about 2 by 1 inches. It took us at least 5 minutes to break apart the pellet, recoiling from the hairs inside the pellet. My partner, Emily Tang, saw this red thing in the side of the pellet, which we unrevealed later to be one of the jaw bones, while the red part was probably blood. Once, we saw a feather sticking out of the pellet and wondered if either the owl swallowed one of it’s own feathers or it ate another bird without regurgitating the skull.
Q2: How many skulls were in your pellet? How about the number of animals in your pellet? Give the names of what you found.
Only one skull was found, but two animals were revealed. The skull belonged to either a rodent or a animal we couldn’t identify since Emily practically crushed the whole skull when she tried to pry it out of the pellet. But the mystery is why are there two animals, but yet only one skull? The owl couldn’t have ate the other animal’s skull, since it’s not edible, but why did we find evidence of a bird inside the owl pellet? At the same time, the other pair of partners at our table also found evidence of a bird in their pellet, so I thought the feather must be from the owl itself.
Q3: Give the names of the other types of bones you found in your pellet.
We found 2 ribs, 1 jaw, 3 pelvises (??), 1 scapula, 1 humerus, 1 vertebrae, and 12 other bones we couldn’t identify. Why did we discover 3 pelvises, when obviously you’re supposed to have only one? That’s another evidence that there was another animal in the owl pellet, but it’s still not enough evidence to confirm that the owl ate more then one animal at a time.
Q4: Explain what else you found in your pellet….feathers, fur, other things??
Feathers… fur… hair… bones… blood. These things made us sure that the animal that the owl ate was neither a rodent, vole, mouse nor bird. Especially feathers… only birds have feathers, but yet the only skull we found was closest to a rodent’s skull.
Q5: Did you find a complete skeleton? If you did not, give three reasons why you did not.
Not a complete one. Not even close. First, our skull was stuck firmly in one third of the pellet, making us have to guess what kind of animal the owl ate. Second, when we broke the pellet in halves, we also broke at least 20 bones at once. Third, most of the bones were random white, breakable things that didn’t fit in the bones chart, which is another evidence that the owl might’ve eaten another animal.
Q6: Describe the habitat where this owl lived.
This owl probably lived in a place where trees are, like a temperate forest, and the ground is a soil field where rodents and voles scurry around the roots of the towering trees. In the trees, small birds nest there, and where also the owl lives in its owl hole. That way, the owl has all 4 possibilities of eating rodents, voles, mice or birds.
Q7: If your owl forms one pellet each day, based on YOUR findings, how many animals would an owl eat in a week? in a month? in a year?
Week: 7 animals
Month: 30 animals
Year: 365 animals
That’s if it eats one animal per day, depending on our data.

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