We did a couple of interesting things for homeschool this week which I want to share. First of all: owl pellets. We dissected them.

When owls eat, they swallow their prey whole and after digesting the skin and muscle, the remaining fur and bones are compacted inside their bodies and then regurgitated. This regurgitated mass, about the size of a small chicken egg, is the owl pellet.

We weighed and measured the owl pellets and noted visual characteristics, and then we started to pull them apart and extract the bones from the fur. Young Son kept saying, “I’m pretending I’m a real scientist,” to which I responded, “You are a real scientist right now.”

boys at the table dissecting the owl pellets

They were both pretty thrilled about this project. Brother repeatedly commented on how much fun he was having. They both found 3 to 4 sets of jaw bones in their owl pellet, which was the best indicator of how many skeletons were inside. Answering the questions that came with the packet, we concluded that the skeletons were probably pocket gophers.

skeleton parts including jawbones with long front teeth

The other cool thing we did this week was visit the Arcata Airport with our charter school. I’ll give that its own post, coming soon…