Kids typically say that they "did" owl pellets in middle school, but they rarely can come up with any understanding or explanation as to what they were doing or why.
This ecosystem lab is good for an advanced biology or environmental science class and takes owl pellet dissection to the level it should be. Students will dissect owl pellets and identify prey, but use that data (and some basic research) to reconstruct a trophic level pyramid and calculate energy flow in an ecosystem.
Dissection and ID of prey can be done in 90 minutes of class time, the analysis packet is another 90 minutes or so of work.
I didn't want to risk issues with copyright, so I didn't include a bone sorting chart.
BUT a good bone sorting chart can be found at
I give this lab exercise to my regular and CCP environmental science students and they love it! Calculations sometimes require some scaffolding for regular classes.