15 October 2010

the discovery

As I mentioned the other day, the children made a mysterious discovery while we were visiting the farm.  I know this doesn't have anything at all to do with art or my day to day life, but they were so intrigued by it, I wanted to share.

While the children were playing in the woods, Brooke made an interesting discovery that led to a complete archaeological excavation.  She discovered an animal skull and they ended up finding virtually an entirely complete skeleton.

the excavation site

the skull with both mandibles of the lower jaw

pelvic bones, leg bones, vertebrae, and little ribs were all slowly and excitedly unearthed

I hope this doesn't seem gruesome to you, but the children were actually really excited about Brooke's discovery.  They all carefully pushed aside leaves and twigs in their effort to find as much of the skeleton as they could -- even Seany helped when he discovered there was something more exciting than climbing trees going on.

We brought the bones home, because Brenna thought she could share them with her science teacher and maybe reconstruct the skeleton as a class and possibly even determine what kind of animal it was.

Due to its size and a few broken ribs, we grownups (Mom, Dad, and Rob and I) speculated that it was a fox that may have been someone else's dinner.  Also, the skeleton was not neatly laid out in its proper position as if it had died of natural causes.  The bones were all scattered hither and yon.  The only carnivorous predators that are commonly seen on my parents farm are foxes, coyotes, and hawks.  Maybe a coyote snuck up on this unlucky fox?

So the children have really enjoyed this little mystery and it has been cool as a parent to see their little minds thinking scientificly to solve the puzzle.  Brenna was super excited to take it to school, because she has an awesome teacher who really has a passion for science. 

I rinsed the bones and soaked them in bleach to clean them and get rid (hopefully) of any yucky germs.  Brenna took them to school this morning, so it will be interesting to see what kind of conclusions the 7th grade class reached today.

Interestingly, Brenna and Brooke both went on a school field trip to the St. Louis Science Center yesterday, and I think they were more thrilled with that 20-30 minutes in the woods, than with anything they saw there. 

Next time, these gypsy boots will get back to talking about art and artsy things.  By the way, thanks for listening (I mean reading) and for continuing to uplift me with your kind and encouraging words.  

blessings and happiness,

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it's a little gruesome....
    and a lot cool too! What a wonderful learning experience. We have a neighbor that moved out to the country a year ago and had a similar experience and was just as intrigued. Ended up being a coyote.

    I love when children get drawn into the fascination of all things natural. It's a beautiful thing.

    Thanks for sharing.