In today’s dissection, we’ll be looking at an owl pellet. Owls are carnivores, and they eat things like moles, shrews, rodents, birds, insects, and even crayfish. Owls are unable to digest the bones and fur of these creatures, so they regurgitate (or spit up) what are called pellets--small bundles of all the indigestible parts of the owl’s prey.

Owl pellet dissection is an easy, hands-on way to learn about the eating habits of birds of prey. (Owl pellets are the regurgitated remains of an owl's meal.) But don't be grossed out - finding and piecing together the bones inside owl pellets is fascinating work for a young scientist such as yourself! As you dissect the pellet, you'll find skeletons of mice, voles, birds, and more. Synthetic pellets are available for younger children if you'd like to use a substitute.

Dissection in biology provides a hands-on education above and beyond reading a textbook. By seeing, touching and exploring different organs, muscles and tissues inside an animal and seeing how they work together allows you to really understand your own body and appreciate the amazing world around us. And it's not hard  - you can dissect a pellet right at home using an inexpensive specimen with a dissection guide and simple dissection tools! Many doctors, surgeons and veterinarians report that their first fascination with the body started with a biology dissection class.


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