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Owl Pellets

Suzanne Funk
March 02, 2005 | FOSS in Schools

Top image: Students work with a parent to dissect owl pellets.

As a part of the FOSS Human Body module, fourth-grade students at South Mountain Elementary School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, recently dissected owl pellets. Students learned that owls cannot digest the fur and bones of the rodents they eat. Instead, they cough up a pellet that contains indigestible rodent parts. With the help of many parent volunteers, students removed all the bones, identified them, and compared them to human bones. They used the FOSS Rodent Bone Identification sheet to reconstruct the rodent skeletons. Students were amazed at their findings. This proved to be a rewarding lesson for both students and parents.

The following paragraphs were written by some of the Dillsburg fourth graders.

BY: Jason

All of the fourth graders at South Mountain Elementary School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, loved working with the owl pellets. We found bones and fur of the animals the owl ate. We tried to figure out what it ate but it was hard. We got to identify bones and many of them were the same as human bones. We had a lot of fun and I really want to do it again.


This student begins to organize the contents of an owl pellet.

BY: Annie

Fourth graders at South Mountain Elementary School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, are learning a lot in science. We just recently dissected owl pellets, which we got from the FOSS kits. The owl pellets were full of tiny rodent bones. Owl pellets are really only animals that the owl has eaten. It is just the animal's fur and bones. We are studying the owl pellet because we're learning about the Human Body. I'm glad we are studying all about our bodies.

BY: Matt

At South Mountain Elementary School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania,the fourth grade got the Human Body kit from the FOSS company. In the Human Body kit we worked with owl pellets. Owl pellets are from when an owl ate a mouse and coughed it up. They're like hair balls with bones inside. We enjoyed dissecting the owl pellets and examining the bones. Thank you to FOSS for making such a fun kit forus to use.