GIRLS science club studies "naturology"

By Liz Dadson


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About 20 girls spent a good part of Friday morning picking through owl pellets, part of the Girls in Real Life Science (GIRLS) club, sponsored by the Women in Nuclear (WiN) - Bruce, at the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre.

Nancy Griffin, a conservation education co-ordinator with Saugeen Conservation, led the course on "naturology," urging the girls to discover what they could from the pellets which contain parts that the owl cannot digest so it coughs them up.

Griffin was also taking the girls on a nature hike, looking for signs of owls on the trails. "There are many different things to learn about the food chain," she says. "By dissecting the owl pellets, the girls can look at what the owl eats. They learn about what animals eat what."

The girls were also learning what sciences they would have to study to do this kind of work. Scatology is the examination of animal waste and the pellets that all birds of prey cannot digest, says Griffin. Other sciences are biology, zoology and botany.

 Chloe Wheeler, 9, of Kincardine finds interesting parts in the owl pellets

 Harriet Skinner (L), 10, of Kincardine, and Grace Halsted of Inverhuron get some help from Nancy Griffin identifying what they found

Avy Mowle (L), 11, of Kincardine and Gina Spiridaki, 10, of Tiverton discover animal parts in the owl pellets

Maxine Trepanier (L), 10, of Kincardine and Kaitlyn Halsted, 12, of Inverhuron hold up the small bones they found

Keira Hazaard (L), 9, of Bervie and Katrina Jaszkul, 9, of Inverhuron poke through the owl pellets

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Friday, November 13, 2009