Owl pellets are a record of what owls have eaten, and scientists can study them to learn more about the owl and the ecosystems in which they live. When children dissect owl pellets, they can see and identify the tiny bones from that owl’s meal and can learn about the owl’s diet and place in the food web.

After dissecting our owl pellet, with Taid’s help, we moved on to identifying whether the bones belonged to a mouse, a shrew or vole.

They were very happy to have identified that the owl had eaten two voles.

Matching the missing teeth with the gaps in the jaw. Ioan was very hopeful about how much money he could make from the tooth fairy if he left all these little teeth in ‘Toothy’.

Five year old Finny was absolutely in his element back in the kitchen. First he showed me the skull fragments he had found.

Then he pointed out the first vole’s lower jaw.

Finny showed how the left hand skull had lost some of his teeth.

He turned the right hand skull upside down for a better look. This vole still had all of it’s teeth on both the upper and lower jaw.

He then kept coming back to these bones over the next few days to examine them again. He even managed to link his spellings and writing to this activity!

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Science Year 1 programme of study

Animals, including humans

  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals

Science Year 2 programme of study

Living things and their habitats

  • identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including micro-habitats