Preliminary study of rodents using pellets of predatory birds in Iran

Document Type : Research articles


Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


Predatory birds feed mainly on small mammals. They usually swallow their prey and after digesting, the indigestible fur, bones and teeth are regurgitated as compact pellets. The investigation of pellet is an extremely valuable tool for mammalogists. In this study 351 pellets have been collected from the localities including north of khorasan, Zanjan, Yazd, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiyari and Mazandaran Provinces, Iran. Results have revealed the most of pellets contain mainly the members of five families of rodents including Muridae, Dipodidae, Cricetidae, Sciuridae and Calomysidae, respectively. Although it is evident that dental morphology is a valuable tool to recognition the most genera, it is not enough for the specific identification in some cases such as Meriones and Microtus. Therefore, it would be essential employing additional approaches such as neontology and morphometrics geometric.