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Archive for December 2, 2016

Budding Naturalist Library

blog-post-photo-animalmouthsI thought I would mention that my children’s (4 – 8 years) series on animal adaptations currently has three books (ANIMAL MOUTHS, ANIMAL EYES, ANIMAL LEGS) available, in paperback and hard cover. ANIMAL TAILS, EARS and NOSES are in the works. Might be a good way to start a budding naturalist’s library this holiday season! (Available on my blog, from publishers, or local bookstores and online.) Happy to sign any copies if you can come to me! (Please excuse self-promotion!)

River Otter Brown-out


River Otters have latrines on land where they come to defecate, urinate and roll around, all in the same area. This area is used over and over and is referred to as roll or brown-out. The latter name is derived from the fact that much of the vegetation dies as a result of the urine and acid build-up. Most otter scat (also referred to as spraint) disintegrates fast and consists of piles of fish scales, with little form. However, if you come upon a recently-visited brown-out, or if the otter has consumed prey other than fish, such as crayfish, tubular scat can be present (see photo insert). Look for River Otter brown-outs on narrow strips of land that stick out into ponds, or a strip of land between two bodies of water. (Thanks to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for rolling otter photo op.)

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