Paleoecology Using "Fossilized" Owl Pellets

 Author: Tonya Van Leuvan

AreaLife Sciences 

 Grade Level: 6-7


This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the standard owl pellet lesson. In this lesson students will act as if they have fossilized owl pellets from which they can determine the paleo-environment based on the animals found in the pellet. This information can be used to determine which owl ancestor probably left the pellet. Additionally students obtain experience with using a dichotomous key to determine which animals are represented in the pellets. 



Strand 1: Inquiry Process

Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling)
Design and conduct controlled investigations.

  • PO 5. Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.

Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions
Analyze and interpret data to explain correlations and results; formulate new questions.

  • PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends.
  • PO 5. Formulate a conclusion based on data analysis.


 Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)
 Handout (pdf / doc)
 MNI Sheet  (pdf / doc)
 Dichotomous Keys For Students  (pdf / doc)