The Owl Pages Forum Forum Index The Owl Pages Forum
Discussion about Owls
 
 Recent PostsRecent Posts   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
photo of Barred Owl pellet contents
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Owl Pages Forum Forum Index -> Biology and Research
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Michael02



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 39
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:11 am    Post subject: photo of Barred Owl pellet contents Reply with quote

Hi all,



I thought I'd share this photo of some mammal bits I dissected from a pellet found under a Barred Owl, Strix varia, roost.

Represented here is a vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus, and two Northern Short-tailed Shrews, Blarina brevicauda.

The red enamel on the shrew teeth is a characteristic of species in the sub-family Soricinae.

M
_________________
My Blog


Last edited by Michael02 on Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tanja sova



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 485
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the Roost, Michael

Nice to have another biologist Very Happy

Here - I couldn't see the photos, and I am very curious about them. Can you please check it out so we can see them?

Hope to hear from you

Tanja Cute Owl 2
_________________
See you owl 'round billabong Wub
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael02



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 39
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:14 am    Post subject: thanks for the welcom Reply with quote

Hi Tanja,

I changed the source code for the image. I hope you can see it now.

Michael
_________________
My Blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tanja sova



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 485
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that is BEAUTIFUL!!!

I love it!

Have you check out my gallery - owl pellets etc in gallery section? Sorex and Clethrionomys are my favorites! Sorex minutus is so tiny and precious. Once I've found in LEO pellet Sorex araneus scull with insect's head in it!!!

OK, I'll stop - am obviously maniac about small mammal sculls. But have you noticed how Clethrionomys glareolus, for example, has this fine tanish glare of enamel, like a precious stone? With fine ridge?

Lovely blog, indeed!

Please feel free to post more - you can do it in gallery section under your name or here, if you have story to follow the pictures.

Tanja Cute Owl 2
_________________
See you owl 'round billabong Wub
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Adain



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

Glad the pictures are working, and whoa! The upper jaw on two of those craniums look bloody! Carnivorous rodents and shrews, eh? Wink (Joking) Actually, would anyone care to explain what the red substance on those upper jaws is?

Regards,

Adain
_________________
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
owlboy
Moderator


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adain wrote:
Quote:
would anyone care to explain what the red substance on those upper jaws is?



I think that Michael said that the enamal of the tooth is naturally red. Humans enamal is naturally white/clear. Human's enamal does come in different shades. I don't know why the enamal is naturally red.
_________________
Always looking for Owls in Greene County NY
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Michael02



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 39
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: red shrew teeth Reply with quote

Why red enamel?

Good question.

The only reference at hand was this:

Lunt, D.A. and H.W. Noble. 1975. The nature of pigment in teeth of the Pygmy Shrew, Sorex minutus. The Journal of Dental Research 54(5): 1087.

The authors subjected pigmented shrew teeth and unpigmented mole teeth to "neutron activation analysis". The reddish shrew teeth had over 10,000 ppm (parts per million) iron, whereas the white mole tooth had only 70 ppm.

The authors concluded that iron compounds in the enamel of the shrew teeth resulted in the red pigmentation. They did not comment or speculate on the significance of the presence/absence of pigmented enamel in the teeth of small mammals.

Maybe someone else in the Owl Forums can comment authoritatively on the question.
_________________
My Blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tanja sova



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 485
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grrrr... I typed almost whole post and my PC decided to shut down...

hopefully this time I will manage.

Well, the red enamel is trait not only of Sorex species teeth, yet also some other shrews, such as Neomys species. If anyone had a chance to see sculls of different ages of shrews, it is apparent that red enamel is worn out during the age, sometimes to that extent that only traces of red pigment are visible. Also, red enamel itself is of different nuances in different species, but all of them are clearly visible and strong and definitely resistant to acid stomach juices of predatory birds.

Since small mammal species can be distinguished by the teeth (especially molar) patterns, it was always interesting for researchers. Many mistakes have been made during especially beginning of this work. Luckily, with a lot of work and new findings, those mistakes are minimized. One of the most precise techniques is analysis of cross section of tooth enamel and you can check this at http://www.paleontology.uni-bonn.de/tooth_enamel.htm for instance. Prof. Koenigswald is leading expert in this area.

Now, why using expensive techniques such this one? When paleontologist find only fragment of the tooth, it is very hard to tell what species it was, but even that small fragment is often enough to perform cross section and via scanning electron microscope to obtain accurate information. That way whole ecosystem can be reconstructed, not to mention to get more info on small mammal (not only small mammals, though).

I was pretty much into this investigation by the 2002, but then I had to focus and it was LEOs who won this inner battle. Still, lot of passion is in molar quest at least for me. Just how many data we can obtain from the prey residues is amazing!

For any detailed info on color or any other data, the best source to dig in is paleontology area of science.

I really didn't find good resource for the red enamel and why is it red, but I'd love to learn more on it. I suspect it might have something to do with resistance of teeth toward wearing out, since shrews are preying upon chitin "carrier" animals most of the time, and breaking that shell is not easy. But there are other shrews with regular monochrome enamel. Perhaps this post was not the answer good enough, but at least shed some more light on interesting subject I hope

Cheers

Tanja Cute Owl 2
_________________
See you owl 'round billabong Wub
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
owlboy
Moderator


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I don't think it is the enamel that is red. If you look at the teeth, it is only the top of the molars that are red. The enamel is only a thin non-porous coating that can crack or wear off.

In older humans, their enamel can crack, and they can get red lines where the crack occured.

Since the enamel is non-porous, and the bone under the enamel is porous, it appears that the iron content is actually in the bone. Many animals do wear the enamel off of the top of their teeth.

The bigger question would be determining what the red shrews eat, and does it contain higher levels of iron.
_________________
Always looking for Owls in Greene County NY
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
tanja sova



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 485
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

owlboy wrote:
Actually, I don't think it is the enamel that is red.


Now I regret I didn't put in a parcel one Sorex scull as well Confused But I will try to get some really good photo if possible like under the binoculars. Yes, it is ENAMEL that is red, Owlboy. If you had a chance to see it really closely, you'd have no doubt about it! I am sure

Besides, as I already said, Clethrionomys voles (such as Bank vole) have different coloration of teeth (molars) from other voles. On the second thought, not only Clethrionomys, also Dinaromys and I guess other so called rooted-molar voles, unlike those voles whose molars have no roots (are life-growing). It is not coloration itself that is crucial, I think it is the result of the structure. But it is beautiful and no photos gives true look nor makes justice to them. It is so precious, and knowing your attitude about chemistry, I am sure you'd love molar-story as well.

More on that later

Cheers

Tanja Cute Owl 2
_________________
See you owl 'round billabong Wub
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Laughing Owl Lover



Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 450
Location: Candyland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool close ups!
_________________
Its so sad that the Laughing Owl is extinct.... Help protect owls in need and never pick up a fallen owl unless it is injured or it is in a dangerous place (ex. middle of the road)
- Thanx so much!Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Adain



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, I understand it a bit better now. Wink Someone was asking about it when we were disecting owl pellets a few weeks ago.

Btw, for an assignment, we had to paste together bones from our pellets to form a random made up creature on a bit of poster board; I'll have to take a picture of Mr. Doobob for you all. Wink He looks like a discoing, long extinct skeleton.

(Sorry, was that leaning towards off topic?)

Adain
_________________
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
tanja sova



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 485
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adain wrote:
Btw, for an assignment, we had to paste together bones from our pellets to form a random made up creature on a bit of poster board; I'll have to take a picture of Mr. Doobob for you all. Wink He looks like a discoing, long extinct skeleton.
(Sorry, was that leaning towards off topic?)Adain

No, Adain, I think it is not off the topic, since understanding pellets and skeletons in science education is very important. Of course, instead of "boring" good old skeleton, if you invest your imagination and effort to make your own animal, you will definitely know what is the pellet content, and that was the goal, after all, isn't it? Personally, under this or new topic (perhaps owl and their pellets in education?) it would be really nice seeing your own creation!

Looking forward that post

Tanja Cute Owl 2
_________________
See you owl 'round billabong Wub
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Laughing Owl Lover



Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 450
Location: Candyland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea lets see Mr. doobob
_________________
Its so sad that the Laughing Owl is extinct.... Help protect owls in need and never pick up a fallen owl unless it is injured or it is in a dangerous place (ex. middle of the road)
- Thanx so much!Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Adain



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gotta manage to bring a camara to school, or ask my teacher to take a picture of it. But I promise I'll post Mr. Doobob. ;D

Adain
_________________
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Owl Pages Forum Forum Index -> Biology and Research All times are GMT + 10 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group