Posts Tagged ‘Mammal’

I’ve been on the late shift for the past few days…working until 9 p.m. On the way home tonight, I saw a beautiful red fox run out across the road under the street lights and vanish into the wooded ravine. I always feel lucky to see one, as they can be pretty elusive.

Although, now that I think about it, the last time I saw a red fox it was sitting right in the middle of the road in a nearby park. Just sitting there sunning itself. I was driving very slowly (as per park regulations!) and it finally yawned, got up and trotted off. So, go figure.

I have yet to ever see a gray fox, though. Sigh.

——Oooh! I just found the cutest damn picture of a gray fox here. Aaaaww!

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Animal Skulls that Spin…Wheeee!

  Mastodon or Mammoth Skull

Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

OK, I meant to link to this part of UM’s Museum of Zoology in the last post but forgot. I guess I’m just geeky enough to find it amusing to play with spinning animal skulls. (They would also be very useful for students to use in ID classes, but for now I just like to spin them ’round and ’round). 😉  You will need QuickTime in order to use this feature, BTW.

Should you want to see a spinning human skull, look here. And for a list of books and on-line resources on animal skull ID, check out this teacher’s resource guide. Finally, if you want to see some very weird animal skulls and an awesome educational website, check out the California Academy of Sciences “Skull” online exhibit.

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Groundhog Hole 

Chucky’s back. (Of course, the fact that I am lobbing old apples out back might have something to do with that…..)

Our old friend/nemesis the woodchuck (aka: groundhog, marmota monax, whistle pig, rat with a bushy tail….) has been making daily appearances in our backyard lately. I haven’t been able to get any good photos, as it is very skittish (probably because Bear likes to chase after it).

I do have some photos from this summer of the two holes it uses out back by the railroad tracks. For a while, Greg would try to fill the holes back in but I think the situation is at the point where we have reached a truce (read that to mean: the humans gave up long before the critter did!)

There is a ton of information about woodchucks out there, but this site from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology is one of the best. Be sure to check out the photos showing its teeth (and I thought I was buck toothed!)

I have the unique distinction of being one of the elite few who have been sneezed on by a woodchuck!

It happened while I was working as a volunteer at a local wildlife rehabilitation center. They had in a sick woodchuck and I had to clean out its pen and replace the food dish. Let me tell you that although the buggers look cute and cuddly seen from a distance, they are really quite ill tempered and do not appreciate you getting close to them. Anyway, this guy gave a tremendous sneeze while in the process of charging at me (and making all kinds of noises) and he hosed me with his snot. It was green. And so was I after that…

You can check out HogHaven to hear actual groundhog sounds. And, for something completely different, you can check out this absolutely fabulous answer  from Useless Advice from Useless Men to that age old question of how much wood would a….well, you know the rest!

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