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Lab Report-Owl Pellets

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on 25 April 2014

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Transcript of Lab Report-Owl Pellets

Can we determine the interactions of a particular organic element in an ecosystem by studying their eating habits? In this experiment you will dissect an owl pellet and identify its contents.
Materials
- 4 coffee filters
- chart paper- place mats
- magnifying glass
- 4 skewers
- 2 rulers
- 3 tweezers
- 4 gloves
-2 tooth brushes
Hypothesis
Yes, we can determine the interactions of a particular organic element because you can look and see what is in the pellet, the prey's body and remains and see what is there.
Problem
Procedure
Get the owl pellet and unwrap it.
Gently open it up using your hands, tweezers, or skewers.
Sort the bones and fur and place in a coffee filter.
Identify each bone to the animal on the identification chart.
Take measurements of the bones and throw out all the fur from the pellet.
More Observations
I observated, that there was fur bones, dirt, claws and grain-like fibers in the pellet. I noticed that there were bones from a variety of animals (rat,shrew and mole). There was evidence of more than one animal because of the different types of bones, that match up to different animals. There also was, some evidence of plant material ( tough grain-like fibers and stalks found). There wasn't any insects or feathers, though.
Observations
Pellet Length: 5 cm Diameter: 3.3cm
Femur: 1 Length: 3.4 cm
Lower Jaw; 4Length:1.8 cm Width: 0.3cm
Skull: 2 Length: 3.3 cm Width: 2 cm
Vertebrae: 4 Length: 0.5 cm
Shoulder Blade: 2 Length: 2.5 cm
Ulna/Radius: 2 Length: 2 cm
Ribs: 7 Length: 2 cm
Hip Bones: 2 Length: 2.7cm Width: 0.5cm
Tibia/Fibia: 2 Length: 1.8 cm
Conclusion
In conclusion, my hypothesis that " yes, we can determine the interactions of a particular organic element because you can look and see what is in the pellet, the prey's body and remains and see what what is there" was supported by the experiment . My lab experiment showed that there was interactions between the shrew and the grain stalks it ate because they were both found in the owl pellet.
Analysis
I had a total of 31 bones found in the owl pellet. I did not get a full skeleton, which is normal because it was only one pellet and the owl ate more than just one animal. I also saw how predators and prey interacted and how the pellet will be used and decomposed back into the soil and become food for the mice and shrews. It is a cycle of life and food, and always continues.
One of the problems I had during this experiment was that I kept on breaking the lower jaw off the skull. Next time i need to be more careful and try not to break the lower jaw.
Lab Report- Owl Pellet Dissection
By: Hannah 7B
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