A Skeleton in the Woods

Posted June 22, 2013

by Lensyl Urbano

Raccoon skeleton and bits of fur found in the woods behind Ms. Eisenberger’s house. Photo by Micaela Mason.

Just out of the blue, I got a text from Maggie (Eisneberger) yesterday saying, “Wanna see something awesome. Bring the kids.” Well I didn’t have the kids with me, but I went over anyway. She and her niece had found an almost complete skeleton in the woods.

Since I’ll be teaching biology next year, I’ve been on the lookout for a good skeleton. The last time I had one was when my middle school class found a raccoon skeleton on an immersion trip. They brought it back to school, cleaned it up, and reassembled it on a poster board. It was an awesome learning experience.

This skeleton is even more complete. Even some of the cartilage between the vertebrae was dried out and preserved. It was a bit puzzling that the whole skeleton seemed to be there, and had not been too disturbed by scavengers even though, based on the state of decay, it had been there for quite a while.

We collected as much as we could, although some of the smaller bones in the hands and feet are quite tiny.

Maggie lent me her book on the animals of Missouri so I could try to identify it based on the teeth. However, later yesterday evening I got an email from her. She’d been talking to her brother, who’d, back in March, shot a raccoon that was going after his chickens. He’d left the body out in the woods.

Well now someone/s will have a nice little project in the fall.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. A Skeleton in the Woods, Retrieved July 29th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

2 Responses to “A Skeleton in the Woods”

  1. Trish@LiveAndLearnFarm.com

    So glad to hear you will be teaching Biology next year! My oldest son will be taking Biology as well… we are using Apologia’s curriculum and will be doing all the labs/experiments so it will be great for us to be able to compare notes!

  2. Lensyl Urbano

    Great. I’m looking forward to seeing how the labs and experiments go. I’ve been playing with our new stereoscopes ever since they arrived — as you can probably see from the blog — and I’m not sure how I’ve survived so long without one.

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