Please travel with me to Nova Scotia to study Mammals and Climate Change!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day Ten

Yesterday, we set another 100 traps- but this time at Cook's Lake. Cook's Lake is a very large lake and it has different kinds of habitat around it. There is a wetlands area, a woodland area and a grassland area. My partner and I set 20 traps total. We set half of them in the woodland area and half in the grassland area. The woodland area is covered in trees. What do you suppose the grassland area is covered in? If you said grass, you're right! The grass in this area isn't like the grass in our yards, though. It's long and a mix of green and yellow. It is bushy and perfect for small mammals to hide in when they run around.  Here is a photo of our traps in the grassland area and another picture to show more of the bushy grass.
 We are hoping to catch woodland jumping mice, meadow voles and small-tailed shrews.  My partner and I are the only ones who caught something today!  We caught a female meadow vole named Spunky.  She was cute!  A meadow vole is different from a red-backed vole because it is brown and just a bit bigger.

We also did a field sign transect today.   We walked the whole area and looked for field signs.  I took pictures of what I could.

Room 5, I am going to challenge you again to tell me what these signs mean.  Remember that field signs help us know how many animals and what kinds are in a certain area. What animals have been or are now at Cook's Lake?

1. What do you think this skull belonged to? I will give you a hint.  This area used to be a farm and this skull did NOT belong to a horse.
2. Here is another field sign that lets me know that a certain small mammal recently had a meal here. It has left two neat piles of acorn shells.  What do you think left them here?
3. In this puddle in the mud lies two sacks of baby eggs.  The second picture shows a close up of one of the sacks.  A mammal obviously did not leave this, you know, since mammals don't lay eggs.  What do you think these eggs will grow up to be? Hint: this kind of animal needs to be in water as a baby and near water as an adult.
4. Here is a track I found.  I thought Lycos had made this footprint, but the fingers are too skinny on this paw.  What could have left it?
5. One picture below is part of a skull. The other picture shows a pair of bones we found from the same animal. They are from the jaw.  See the teeth?  What kind of animal is it?
6. This scat is not a kind I have seen before on my trip.  It belongs to an animal that is smaller than a coyote, but has a similar diet.  What do you think it could be?
7. For your last challenge question, how many traps did my partner and I set in the grassland area and how many traps did we set in the woodland area? My partner and I set 20 traps total, but only half of them in each area.  Remember to tell me your strategy and not just the answer!
Room 5, I have added answers to yesterday's challenge in the comments of yesterday's post. You guys did a GREAT job! Please add one chipmunk and one vole to the data you are collecting on my animal sightings.


  1. Picture one:

    Markus thinks the field sign in picture one is a cow.

    Josie thinks it might be a goat.

    Milo thinks it's a rabbit.

    Picture two:
    Nels thinks it's a squirrel.

    Milo thinks it's a chipmunk.

    Jackson thinks it might be a termite.

    Sofia thinks it's a squirrel.

    Zak thinks it's a racoon.

    Aaliyah thinks it's chipmunk.

    Picture three:
    Layne thinks this is frog.

    Lucas thinks this is a turtle.

    William thinks it's a seal.

    Sophie thinks it's a turtle.

    Sofia thinks it's a crocodile or an aligator, one of those.

    Maddie thinks it's a turtle.

    Picture 4:
    Carmonte thinks a bear left that print.

    Zak thinks a coyote made the print.

    Josie thinks that a bear made the print.

    Gwen thinks that a black or brown bear made the print.

    Picture 5:
    Markus thinks this is a moose.

    Zak thinks this is a white-tailed deer.

    Lucas thinks this could be a peacock.

    Picture six:
    Layne thinks it's from a dog.

    Syth thinks this is from a red squirrel.

    Nels thinks this is from a dog.

    Josie thinks it might be from a wolf.

    Zak thinks it might be from an oscelot(sp?).

  2. Room 5 wants to know what you eat in Nova Scotia?

  3. Great Job, Room 5!

    1.Markus is right! This skull is from a cow.
    2.Nels and Sofia are right! A squirrel left these piles. Red squirrels take their food back to the same spot to eat, over and over again.
    3.Layne is right! These eggs will grow up to be frogs!
    4.Zak is right! A coyote left this print.
    5.Zak is right again! These bones are from a whitetailed deer.
    6.No one got this right. A fox left this scat!

    In Nova Scotia, people eat the same things as we do. The only difference is that they LOVE maple syrup and they put it in a lot of foods like beans and casseroles. I am eating fish and chili and a bunch of other things we eat in Seattle.