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Skeleton Racing Homer Pigeon unearthed

on 24th October 2017

“A Racing Homer Pigeon (Columbia livia) was found in our school’s stairwell leading to the auditorium in the afternoon on 3rd March 2017 by teacher Miss Amelia Huang LINK 1 and LINK 2. Sadly, this pigeon was found dead outside the Physics Lab (Level 4) on 6th March by our lab assistant Mdm. Devi and some students. A burial was conducted on the same day. Investigations were done to trace this pigeon back to Taiwan and a story was written in the 15th issue of CWSS Biodiversity Newsletter.

“After 7 months under the ground, on 9th October I decided to use the Marking Day in my school to dig up the bones of this racing pigeon we buried on 6th March this year. I gathered some students to participate in the bone washing process. We separated the soil from the bones, washed them using water and bleach to remove some decolouration on the bones. We printed a layout of pigeon skeleton found on the web and matched the bones to it.

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

“See the close-up of the porous nature of bone structure of birds, contributing to the lightweight properties. Images above show the head bone (below).

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

Bones-HomerPigeon unearthed [JacobTan]

“Thanks Mr David Tan, a researcher who studies bird carcasses here in Singapore at the Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, for providing some tips on the whole process we went through. This opens up the opportunity to learn about bird osteology, comparing these bones to those we see the KFC bucket.”

Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
Singapore
11th October 2017

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. How i wished my school biology class was as interesting as this. Teacher Jacob, well done in applying practical biology, inside and outside the classroom.

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