“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.
“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).
“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
11th October 2017