Background Information: Owl Pellets:When you watch an owl pellet, you will think that it is feces, however remember owl pellets room ejected from the mouth. Owls frequently swallow your prey whole or in large pieces. Owl pellets space masses the bone, teeth, hair, feathers and exoskeletons of various pets eaten by birds of food (raptors). Owls feed early on in the evening and also regurgitate a solitary pellet roughly 20 hours after eating. Uneven snakes, the protein enzymes and strong acids which take place in the digestive tract of raptors perform not digest the entire meal. The fairly weak stomach muscle of the bird kind the undigested fur, bones, feather etc. Right into wet slimy pellets. In this procedure even the most fragile bones room usually preserved unbroken. A bird"s stomach contains an anterior pouch referred to as the proventriculus and also a muscular posterior section called the gizzard. In owls, the gizzard compresses indigestible parts of their prey (hair, bones, teeth, and feathers) right into matted pellets. These pellets pass into the proventriculus where they continue to be until other stimulates the owl to spit lock out. Hawks and other birds of prey, part gulls and also herons additionally regurgitate undigested remains. The barn owls to produce 1 to 2 pellets every day.

You are watching: Food web with owl at the uppermost trophic level

Scientists study pellets come discover distinctions in habitat and prey. Pellets likewise reveal information around the relative variety of small animals found in an owl"s feeding area. Pellets are necessary for scientific study since they give us a photo of what the owl eats. Other means to discover what an biology eats is come 1. Dissect the stomachs the dead pets to check out what is discovered in there. 2. Examine pet feces to watch what tree or pet parts made it every the way through without being digested. (SCATOLOGY)Owl pellets themselves are ecosystems, giving food and shelter for communities which may include clothing moths, carpet beetles and also fungi. Clothing moth larvae are typically abundant in pellets, feeding ~ above fur and also feathers. The black color spheres around the size of periods (.) the are discovered in the pellets room the droppings of the caterpillars. The larvae metamorphose near the surface of a pellet in cocoons make of fur.The pellets WE usage were built up and fumigated to death all bacteria and parasites. They are perfectly for sure to touch.

Materials:owl pellets, probe, provided film containers or pill bottles, forceps, old yogurt cups, glue because that mounting, paper towel, identification keys, bone sorting sheet(Bone graph (http://www.carolina.com/owls/guide/Owl_Pellet_Bone_Chart_grid.pdf)

Procedure

1.Measure the length and width of your owl pellets.

Length of her owl pellet_______

Width of her owl pellet_______

2. Very closely examine the exterior that the pellet. Do you see any type of signs that fur? __________ perform you see any signs the feathers? ____________3. What shade was her pellet? _____________

Put your pellet ~ above a piece of record towel. Carefully use a probe to break apart the owl pellet and also observe what is in it. Use a probe to disclose all bones for identification. Because some that the bones are so tiny and also fragile, if you space not careful, you might either lose or like a bone. Use forceps (tweezers) and also a probe to execute this. Put the hair aside because that disposal.

Organize the skeleton into teams (skulls, ribs, vertebrae, leg bones) and also label them. Use the bone diagram to help you identify your bones and also assemble the skeletal on construction file as displayed by the bone sorting chart.Decide how numerous prey pets you have and record this information on the chart. You may only have one. If much more than one, shot to kind the bones to go v the skulls. Adhesive them come the construction paper.

Next identify your prey animal using the identification overview hung up roughly the room. Look in ~ the: Shape and size the the skull shape of eye sockets size of the snout contrasted to the remainder of the skull

Grade will certainly be based on neatness, labeling and organization.

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Analysis: price the complying with questions on the back page or on one more sheet the paper

5. What carry out we know about the digestive system of an owl based upon the pellets?

6. Owl pellets not just can provide us information about the diet of the owl, owl pellets also provide a habitat for other animals, in fact an owl pellet is a tiny ecosystem every on that own. What sort of animals are uncovered in the owl pellet ecosystem. (Hint: read the background at the beginning)

7. Other species of birds kind pellets. What would you intend to find in the pellet the a seagull?

8. Owls, hawks, and also eagles are types of raptors, animals which have actually hooked beaks and also sharp claws, and are therefore adjusted for seizing prey animals. Hawks and eagles differ from owls in the they eat their prey animals by tearing castle into small pieces, picking the end the flesh and also avoiding many of the fur and also bones. They also have strong stomachs which deserve to digest most of the bone material which they could eat. The fairly small amount of indigestible bone and also fur that continue to be will it is in compacted by their stomach muscles into a pellet similar to the owl"s. Do you think an eagle pellet would be as beneficial for dissecting as an owls? Why or why not?

9. Construct a diagram of a food web (of at the very least 5 animals) v an owl at the uppermost trophic level. Use an arrow to display which organism is the customer or predator.

10. How can learning an ext about the ban owl"s diet (what the eats) assist us keep the animal?

11. Based on the data, how would you describe the diet the the owl?

12. What does the data phone call us around the habitat that the owl?

13. Based upon the information and also data in this lab, execute you think that we might have owls below in Brandon?________ explain your answer.bonus question14.If you were a zoologist act a research of what deer eat, just how would you collection your data?

CONCLUSION: Be certain to summarize what friend didBONE SHORTING chart

rodent bonestypenumber
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SKULL
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MANDIBLE

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SCAPULA
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HUMEROUS
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RADIUS and ULNA
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RIBS
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PELVIS
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FEMUR
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TIBIA and also FIBULA
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VERTEBRA ATLAS
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AXIS
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TAIL BONES
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CARPALSMETACARPALS
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TARSALSMETATARSALSPHALANGES
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LINKS:Life background of the prohibition Owl - Ohio DNR Owl Pellets Assembling a Skeleton - virtual Assembly Owl DigestionOwl Pages - barred Owl herbal History Barred Owl organic History USGS prohibition Owl website - w/ Song Owling.com - World"s largest Owl Website Owl photos You can Use