JFK’s Young Scientists Identify Prey Through Pellets

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Fourth-grade scientists at JFK recently explored animal kingdoms, the food chain and food webs, culminating in the dissection of owl pellets.

In their studies, they realized that much can be learned about a barn owl’s diet by analyzing the types of bones in the pellet the owl regurgitates after swallowing its prey whole. The students dissected the owl pellets together and used reference materials to identify the prey animals by their bones. Dozens of tiny bones were compared to those on a poster of animal skeletons to reveal the types of prey consumed. The hands-on experiment led to a true understanding of how the food web really works.