Science Indicator 3

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This is an activity for students to complete on dissecting owl pellets.

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Science Indicator 3

  1. 1. What does an Owl Eat? By Lynsey Wilkie
  2. 2. Science Standard 4- The Living Environment <ul><ul><li>6.4.1- Explain that one of the most general distinctions among organisms is between green plants, which use sunlight to make their own food, and animals, which consume energy-rich foods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taken from- http://dc.doe.in.gov/Standards/AcademicStandards/StandardSearch.aspx </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to Activity- http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.php?DocID=90 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Definitions <ul><li>Owl pellet- regurgitated material that an owl cannot digest. </li></ul><ul><li>Prey- an animal hunted or seized for food, esp. by a carnivorous animal. </li></ul><ul><li>Predator- any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>Food chain- the chain from a food source to the ultimate consumer. </li></ul>http://dictionary.reference.com/browse
  4. 4. Materials <ul><li>Owl pellets </li></ul><ul><li>Vole Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Recycled egg carton </li></ul><ul><li>Toothpicks </li></ul><ul><li>Large white glue </li></ul><ul><li>Aluminum foil </li></ul><ul><li>5&quot; X 8&quot; index card, no lines </li></ul><ul><li>Fine black felt tip marker </li></ul><ul><li>Owl Research Notes student sheet </li></ul>
  5. 5. Questions for Discussion <ul><li>Have you ever been camping at night? </li></ul><ul><li>What sounds did you hear? </li></ul><ul><li>Were you afraid? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you know about owls? </li></ul><ul><li>What species of owls live in our area? </li></ul><ul><li>What species live in North America? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pre-Activity Research <ul><li>What does an owl eat? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and make a list of possible food sources for an owl that might live in a local ecosystem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you estimate the number of small mammals an owl might eat in one day? How about one week? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is an owl harmful or helpful to man? How? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Recreating a Skeleton <ul><li>You and your partner get one owl pellet between the 2 of you. </li></ul><ul><li>Unwrap the owl pellet from the aluminum foil. </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully tease the bones from the fur using toothpicks. </li></ul><ul><li>Sort the bones into sections of egg cartons for safe storage and future classification. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to label the top of the egg carton with the your names and class. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students should use the vole skeleton model to arrange the bones on a large index card. </li></ul><ul><li>Glue the bones in place and label them. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw any bones that may be missing with a fine tip black marker. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Product http:// estabrook.ci.lexington.ma.us/NewBirds/Volebones.jpeg This is an example of what the skeleton reconstruction might look like after dissecting the owl pellet
  9. 9. Post-Activity <ul><li>Write about the following questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze the bone structure of the skeleton, and try to identify the small mammal that was eaten by the owl to survive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>List all food possibly eaten by that small mammal for energy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where does the energy in the food come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens to the energy when the owl dies? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Construct a food web for the ecosystem using words or pictures. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Resources <ul><li>Activity- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://dc.doe.in.gov/Standards/AcademicStandards/StandardSearch.aspx </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.php?DocID=90 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// dictionary.reference.com /browse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product Example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://estabrook.ci.lexington.ma.us/NewBirds/Volebones.jpeg </li></ul></ul>

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