04/13/2003

Owl Pellets

Both kids have brought home owl pellets for dissection for their science classes.

At first, Marian was all, euuwwwwwww, owl vomit. But owl pellets are quite dry and very soft.

And very dense. You have to tease them apart with great gentleness. What at first looks like dryer lint separates into clumps of mouse and vole fur. You find a head — eek. And then, whoa.

There it is: a tiny skull, with teeth. And there's more: mandibles, tiny ribs, tough, tiny spinal joints, claws, the impossibly small bones of a tail.

April 13, 2003 in natural histories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack