Why are Owl Pellets Important? September 29 2016
While humans and many animals depend on their teeth for chewing, grinding and processing food, modern birds must use their beaks and digestive tracts. Many birds, such as the Barn Owl, must swallow their prey whole, but unlike most birds owls do not have the baglike organ used to store food after it has been swallowed for later digestion. Instead, the food passes directly from the gullet to the gizzard, where digestive fluids and bits of sand dissolve the digestible tissues.
The indigestible parts of their meal, such as fur, bones, and feathers, form into small masses called “castings” or “pellets” and are regurgitated by the bird. Scientists dissect these pellets to learn more about the owl’s behavior and the complex nature of the food chain. Students, too, can observe and learn just like scientists through owl pellet dissection. Simply order an owl pellet dissection kit from a reputable source such as Pellet.com to get started.