I was slightly disgusted, but mostly intrigued today. The kids were clustered around little packets of aluminum foil. I politely suggested that they take this activity outside. It was an attempt to move them off of the kitchen table, because they were dissecting owl pellets.
Owls swallow their prey whole, more or less. The gizzard compresses all of the parts that are not digestible into pellets, that they then spit out. Lovely, right? My daughter received these owl pellets as a birthday gift, from my parents. Admittedly, not every 7-year-old girl receives owl pellets for her birthday, but my parents were right on target with this one. She loves anything creepy crawly and I can't believe it has taken this long to unwrap these little gems. Fortunately, they came as a pack of three, so she could share with her brother and sister.
Inside, is compressed bone and fur. As they explored, the kids were able to identify quite a few different bones.
Notice the teeth? That is a tiny little jawbone.
And a nice little row of pelvic bones. For more information, check out the Carolina Biological Supply Company.