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River Otter Diet Analysis

Fort St. James Secondary students recently participated in a river otter diet analysis lab. Yes, otter poo was closely examined. Using their NEW dissecting and compound microscopes, they analyzed 14 washed and dried scat samples to identify prey items. They observed evidence of mammal, bird and insect prey. Using reference materials, they also identified three distinct species of fish prey.

After an hour and a half of analysis, they then calculated the relative frequency, or percent of occurrence, of each prey item. This is modified from a 400-level university lab course folks... impressive work on behalf of our G11-12 students! Kudos to them for being adventurous and hoping they have fun with those new scopes.

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