Set of 5 pellets, each 2 inches or larger. Pellets arrives heat treated, and wrapped in foil. Leave the foil on until ready to dissect.
Pellets have been heat treated and sanitized.
A bone chart is included.
Tease apart the pellet to expose and collect the bones, then assemble the skeletons. Just grab some tweezers and a few toothpicks to make bone removal easier.
With nothing but great feedback, users report being extremely pleased with these pellets. They’ve been used for group lessons by both Girl and Boy Scout troops, dissected in classrooms, incorporated into homeschooling curriculum, and enjoyed as a family activity. Even squeamish kids usually end up being amazed at the process of trying to assemble the small skeletons.
Each pellet typically contains bones from multiple creatures, with the bones often being fully intact. They are quite small, so laying out a skeleton takes some patience.
The included bone chart can be used to identify bones from birds, moles, voles, and shrews. It shows how the bones would appear if the creature were alive and upright, as opposed to how they would look laid out on a table. We found that children were not bothered by this, at all.
Most of the pellets contain multiple voles, but only voles. We assume this means the owls are being fed a steady vole diet, or they hunt in an area with a high vole volume. Vole-uminous, if you will. As with the bone chart, we did not find children to be put off in any way by finding similar shaped skulls.
The bones can be kept or disposed of. Throwing them into the garbage is an option, but they will also compost. Due to the sanitation process the pellets have been put through, the bones should already be safe for keeping. However, soaking them for a day in hydrogen peroxide will whiten them, if that is desired. For project ideas and ways to use the tiny bones, just do an internet search for ‘bone art’ or ‘bone crafts’ or something similar. Pinterest is a wonderful site for inspiration.
As mentioned before, these pellets have undergone a heat treatment that completely dries them, killing any bacteria and tiny bugs along the way. They are typically safe to handle with bare hands, but in order to adhere to good laboratory practices, we will remind users that gloves should always be used when dealing with microbes and biological matter. Avoid touching the eyes or face when dissecting the pellets.
The pellets will contain the fur of the animals eaten, so those will severe animal allergies should be mindful of this when handling the pellets.
No tools are included with this pellet set. We used a regular pair of tweezers and a few toothpicks to pull them apart and remove the bones. Bamboo skewers would work better as they are larger and easier to manipulate for long periods of time than toothpicks, but that’s all we had.
Soaking the pellets for several minutes in water before dissecting may help loosen up the material, but we did not find this to be in any way necessary. We also did not want to have soggy pellets on our table.
- Leave these in the package until ready to use
- Do not touch eyes or face when dissecting
- Follow product instructions
Parts and Pieces
Set includes 5 jumbo sized pellets.
Those with severe animal allergies should be mindful as the pellets will contain the fur of the animals eaten.