Posts Tagged ‘Larry’

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Yona’s First Day Meeting our Bears.

February 24th, 2010

Sherry wrote about the bear introductions already but I wanted to add some video clips to her description.

For a while Yona was in the side yard with Gus but they were not interacting. Yona was exploring the features in the yard and decided to tank a dunk in the water trough.

Clip 1: Yona takes a plunge

YouTube Preview Image

Keeper Katy did some training with Gus. Here you can see and hear Katy doing “target” training. Gus gets a raisin treat every time he touches his nose to the red target. Soon Yona walks over and decides this is the kind of work in which she might be interested.

Clip2: Yona’s first day of school

YouTube Preview Image

The last video is a short clip of Gus and Yona “boxing”. For most of the video, Gus is being very gentle (notice that he is sitting much of the time). Near the end Gus reminds Yona he is the boss by giving her a shove. This may seem “mean” but it is important for Yona to learn her place in the pecking order. Gus had very similar experiences when he was first introduced to Mimi. Gus and Yona have continued their rough and tumble playing and we hope that Gus will continue to be a good playmate for her.

Clip 3: Yona boxing with Gus.

YouTube Preview Image

Join the conversation:

  1. These videos are great! Thanks for sharing them.

    Posted by Shawntel
  2. She looks so small compared to Gus! I have a feeling she's going to give him a hard time once she gets full grown.Great videos!

    Posted by Leslie
  3. i love this post. thanks for sharing, larry. :)

    Posted by Leiana

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
I started volunteering at the museum when I was 13 (I'm 22, and they pay me now, which is nice). Favorite work activities include, but are not limited to: bathing our steer, talking about bears, playing guitar (sometimes for the animals) and riding my bike around grounds. And blogging, of course.
I work Tues-Sat and can be tweeched @ernbrn.

How to catch a stuffed lemur

February 19th, 2010

If you’ve seen our lemurs up in Explore the Wild, you might have noticed that they have collars on their necks. Here’s a good picture of Lycus the Ring Tailed lemur where you can clearly see his collar:

Our Red Ruffed lemurs have them too, and both species wear them all the time. We put these collars on our lemurs for the same reason you put a collar on your dog: to help us get them back if they escape. But it’s not your usual dog collar with their name and our phone number. Instead, each collar has a little radio transmitter, and each one has a unique frequency that it puts out. It’s just like each collar is it’s own radio station, and we have a tracker that has an antennae that picks up the stations. So if Lycus were to escape, we would turn our tracker on the Lycus station (it doesn’t actually play music, but if it did, his would be mostly classical with swing and big band at night, and jazz on the weekends) and we would be able to hone in on his location.

We have an extra collar that we put on a stuffed lemur, and Sherry routinely hides the lemur somewhere on grounds and tells us to go find it. So the other Thursday after Larry and I were done cleaning up in Explore the Wild, we set off to find ourselves a stuffed lemur. *Sigh*, my job is sooooo boring.
We started near the lemur house. Larry had done lemur tracking many a time, and I had him school me on the finer points of it. I made a little video. It starts with Larry’s tutorial and jumps to me right behind the Butterfly House getting a strong signal from the parking lot. Then it jumps to me standing in the woods right beside the parking lot where the lemur was hidden. I wish the video were more thorough, but I kinda got enthralled with the whole thing (it was pretty thrilling to be riding around on the vehicle with a giant antennae hanging out of the side listening intently for a faint beep).
YouTube Preview Image

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Quik QuikPost:Wolf howling recording

February 16th, 2010

Just adding some audio so you can listen to the wolf howling Marilyn mentioned.

YouTube Preview Image

The PBS show Nova has a page devoted to wolf howling with some more recordings.

Join the conversation:

  1. Why do wolves howl? Are they trying to contact other wolves? If so, does that mean he thinks the firetruck is another wolf?

    Posted by Beck
  2. Domesticated dogs, wolves, and coyotes are known to howl at sirens. Our old red wolves did too. Howling is thought to be a way to communicate over long distances ("I'm over here", maybe). Since signals degrade as they travel through the environment, animals often respond to sounds that are reasonably close to the qualities of the call. There is very little cost to responding incorrectly so higher discretion would not be rewarded.

    Posted by Larry
  3. Wolves and dogs have such a range in their vocalizations! Do they produce sounds we cannot hear?

    Posted by Wendy A
  4. Holy cow, that is fantastic!

    Posted by Leslie
  5. That's awesome!! I love hearing them howl! Our last 3 brothers were marvelous at all howling together.:)

    Posted by Marilyn
  6. Wendy,Canines definitely can hear higher frequencies than we can but their vocalizations aren't in that range. Can you think of other reasons they might hear ultrasound?

    Posted by Larry
  7. yES, OF coarse WOLVES AND DOGS CAN HEAR FREQUINCES THAT MOST HUMANS CANT

    Posted by Kelsey

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: Evaporative Cooling

February 3rd, 2010


The big talk around the museum lately has been the weather for obvious reasons! Being cold got me thinking about the physics of heat loss, so for this month’s BWOM post I thought I would talk about evaporative cooling. When water changes from one state to another energy is either released or absorbed; as water moves from solid -> liquid ->gas energy input is required at each transition.
You might think of evaporative cooling as an issue for the summer time. Our sweat glands release moisture onto our skin’s surface, which then evaporates and takes away heat energy. This process can be life saving in the summer but threatens our survival in the winter. Even though we don’t feel like we are sweating, our skin is still releasing some water. Any exposed skin is chilled not only by the cold air but also by the evaporation of water. We also lose heat as we breathe cold air in and out of our lungs. The moist linings of our respiratory tract are an effective evaporative cooling mechanism just like our skin.
Of course, if you get really wet then you might be in big trouble. Heat from your body will be sucked away as the water evaporates from your clothing and you could quickly enter hypothermia. As our body temperature drops, our brain acts to save itself and shuts down blood flow to our extremities. As our fingertips, toes, ears, and nose lose blood flow they can become so cold that we experience frostbite.
Stay dry and warm out there and enjoy the winter weather as much as possible!

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
I started volunteering at the museum when I was 13 (I'm 22, and they pay me now, which is nice). Favorite work activities include, but are not limited to: bathing our steer, talking about bears, playing guitar (sometimes for the animals) and riding my bike around grounds. And blogging, of course.
I work Tues-Sat and can be tweeched @ernbrn.

Winter Wonderland

February 2nd, 2010

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had great snow days. There’s still a good bit of snow outside here that you can come see (we’re open even though schools aren’t–although some of the outside is still closed because of ice), but I have more pictures of the fresh snow that Cassidy took on Saturday.

Here’s a video of the drive from the building up to the top of the boardwalk in the fresh and falling snow:

YouTube Preview Image

That’s Larry and Sherry driving in the other vehicle. The video stops there because Cassidy had to get out to check on Virginia up on the cliff (her boyfriend, Trace, was taking the video, and I was working inside). Up on the cliff of the bear exhibit is a place called The Pit. It’s basically a pit that the bears like to sleep in. It’s Virginia’s favorite hangout. Here she is all snow covered:

You can tell that her coat is effective at keeping her body heat in because her body heat is not escaping and melting the snow on the outside of her coat. Here’s Ursula bear enjoying some snow digging. You’ll see her digging a little bit, pausing because she hears something, or perhaps to craft a snow inspired poem like Robert Frost, and then continue digging.

YouTube Preview Image

And here’s a good shot of the snow covered boardwalk and icy wetlands:

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: Imprinting

January 13th, 2010

The big word of the month should be procrastination since I’m a little late with this post! Instead I’m inspired to talk about the process of imprinting since Sherry alluded to it in her post about our new bear.
In animal species with extended parental care, offspring usually learn to recognize their parents very soon after birth (the process sometimes begins even before birth). This process, called imprinting, varies from species to species but usually includes learning a combination of sight, smell and sound associated with the parents. Experiments conducted in the earlier 20th century with birds demonstrated that newly hatched chicks often imprinted on whatever object they first encountered in the nest, regardless of its similarity to a parent. The following short video by aYouTube contributor juancarlosboada summarizes the work done by Konrad Lorenz on the subject of imprinting. In 1973, he shared a Nobel Prize with two other researchers for their work on animal behavior. YouTube Preview Image

So what does all this have to do with Yona the new bear at the museum? In her post, Sherry mentioned that Yona was more interested in her human caretakers than other bears. Given her small size when she was rescued, she has likely partially imprinted on her human caregiver and therefore is not a good candidate for release into the wild. A full grown black bear that has no fear of humans and might even be attracted to them would likely end up having dangerous interactions with humans in the future.

Join the conversation:

  1. Several years ago, I saw a special on tv featuring a flock of geese that had bonded with a family. So funny watching them fly in a V-formation right behind their station wagon.

    Posted by Wendy A

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: Osteology

December 15th, 2009

Osteology is the scientific study of bones. The skeletal remains of an animal contain many clues about the life of the organism. Diet, disease, and activities all leave tell-tale marks on the framework of the body. Here in the animal department, Keeper Katy is particularly interested in osteological subjects. She is currently working to clean up this group of bones that she and Keeper Jill recently excavated. Before I tell you more about them, I thought it might be interesting for the readers to do some digital osteology and try to determine from what animal this skeleton comes. If you have a guess, write a comment below and tell us what your evidence is for your guess. I’ll tell you more information soon.

Join the conversation:

  1. It looks like some kind of canine from the jaw bone in the lower left corner. I'll need a bigger picture to further ID it.

    Posted by Brad
  2. We, my daughter and I, think it's a bear. The bones look too big to be a wolf, or small size animal. But the teeth look like they are used for eating meat, so not a horse or herbavore.

    Posted by D
  3. My son and I had identified some ribs and upper leg bones that made us think it was an animal about the size of a wolf or deer. The tooth on the lower left definitely belongs to a carnivore, so we'll go with wolf as our guess. The large flat bone in the middle baffled us at first, but maybe it's a shoulder blade?

    Posted by jkl

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost

November 21st, 2009

Our guys just joined a big crowd of fellow gators. Ed turned out to be
an Edwina. See more pics of the St. Augustine Alligator farm.

Join the conversation:

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

QuikPost from the road

November 21st, 2009

The gators are approaching home.

Join the conversation:

  1. Did they get some complimentary orange juice at the visitor center?

    Posted by Jill

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Alligators on their way

November 21st, 2009

Larry should be on his way to Florida right now with the ‘gators. They should reach home (they were on loan to us) around 3:00 this afternoon. That’s them stacked on top of each other in four under-bed storage containers. We label each container, secure them with additional duct tape and wedge them in the van so they won’t move too much, When Kent and I were packing them up this morning, around 5:00, one of them actually “chirped”. We were both shocked, as these alligators should have grown out of this as it is something only babies do – they chirp for their mom (crocodilians are the only reptiles that exhibit what humans would call some sort of parental care. It’s really interesting, but that’s another post).

I made sure I put my camera in my pocket last night so I would have a photo to show you. Someone commented in my post “I’m home sick” that they wanted to see a photo. I can only assume that you meant of my cat throwing up hairballs (rather than me lying sick in bed) so here he is. You’ll have to wait to see a photo of my other cat- this one’s big brother (my 20 pounder).

Join the conversation:

  1. Sherry, That was me (Jill) that felt the need to ask for pictures.You know how detail oriented I am .

    Posted by Jill
  2. I've heard Ed chirp in the van on the way to a program.

    Posted by Rebecca
  3. Ed(wina) chirped during a couple times during program once while I was holding him…I mean her!

    Posted by Courtney

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *