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

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Three

We did a lot of hard work today, including building walls for a cabin at a field site and setting 100 vole traps in a forest where we had to climb over boulders and climb over, under, and between branches and poky brambly bushes.  It was a lot of work.  I'm going to tell you more about that later, though.  Today, the topic is scat. 

Whose Scat is that?

Now, scat, in case you were wondering, is animal poop.  My students know this because we've talked about it.  When people talk about poop sometimes they think it is gross and sometimes they think it is funny.  But really, scat and poop are both really normal things that all animals get rid of from their bodies.  It's really just what's left over from the food we eat that our body doesn't need.

When you are studying animals and their habitat, poop, or scat, is super important! Identifying animal scat is one way of seeing what animals live in the area. The more scat we find, that means the more animals there are. The more animals there are is a great indicator that the habitat and ecosystem is healthy. The less animals there are indicates that the habitat is not healthy enough for them and tells us we need to do something to change that.

Today, I challenge you to identify the animals that produced the following scat:

Four animals left this scat.  One belongs to a racoon, one belongs to a snowshoe hare, one belongs to a coyote and one belongs to a porcupine.

I'll give you some hints.  In raccoon scat, you can usually see what they've eaten--especially when they've eaten seeds.  Snowshoe hare scat looks a lot like rabbit scat or deer scat, but it is brown instead of black. Coyote scat looks a lot like dog poop. Porcupine scat can have the same shape as cheese puffs and can also look like a pearl necklace, but brown.  One scat above is white because it is so old.

Try to match the animal to its scat and post your answers.  I will tell you the correct answers tomorrow.

Room 5, I loved seeing you and talking to you over the computer yesterday!  I miss you so much! You had some really great questions and I especially loved it when you used a big voice to ask me things.  Thank you!  Please work on the scat challenge today and record that I saw another red squirrel.  It was chattering at us while we were setting the vole traps in the forest.  Tomorrow, I will let you know how many voles we caught and tell you more about setting traps.

Before I say goodbye, I wanted to share with you the sounds of the spring peeper frogs we can hear at night from our house.  You will need to be very quiet to hear them.  I recorded them while standing on our back deck.



I think they sound really nice.  Maybe I will see some soon.  

1 comment:

  1. Josie says "racoon scat is picture C, because she can see what the racoon ate."

    Milo says "picture A is snowshoe hare scat."

    All of room 5 says "Picture B is coyote scat!."

    Room 5 says "Picture D is porucpine scat."

    Markus says "The Spring Peeper frogs sound like birds!"

    Ms. A thinks they sound beautiful and relaxing!

    Jackson says "The Spring Peeper frogs sound like one of his dad's video games!"

    Zak says "The peeper frogs sound like little crickets!"

    Aaliyah says "The peeper frogs sound like little rain drops dripping from the water!"

    Enzo says "They sound like birds that are frogs."

    Chey says "the peeper frogs sound like little sparkles of fairy dust."

    Milo says "the peeper frogs sound like birds singing!"

    Sofia says "Peeper frogs sound like Peeper frogs"

    Room 5 is very divided on whether picture A is Snowshoe Hare scat or

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