July 6, 2012
Last night many of us were enjoying the Fourth of July firework displays. Many of our pets were closed up indoors cowering under blankets, hiding under beds, or being generously shut up in bathrooms or garages. But what about the wild animals? Up to this point in my life, I had never paused to consider how wildlife might react to fireworks. Maybe this is just me, but until I got into work this morning and saw some footage and stills from our camera traps, I had never even stopped to think about it. Here are the images Sam Easterson sent me:
Did the opossums feel like they were under attack? Or were they going out to enjoy the show? Sam said, "The Opossums got really agitated by the sound of the fireworks last night. There were a lot of trips in and out of the den around dusk. Then, a little later in the evening, one of the Opossums exited the den with what looks to be 4 or 5 babies on her/his back. They must have gone out to see the show. Or, they were trying to get away from it!" Did you witness any interesting wildlife behaviors last night, during our explosive celebrations? Drop me a line and let me know what you saw or heard!
December 28, 2011
A few weeks ago, Sam Easterson followed a trail of tin foil and discovered the den of a Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana, underneath one of the Museum's storage sheds. Since then he set up camera traps around the den to see what was going on. This is what we found...A night of tin foil escapades. What on Earth are they doing with all the tin foil? Tin foil hats to ward off alien thought control maybe?
All kidding aside, it seems that this opossum has extracted a tasty morsel from inside the shiny package and is taking it down into the den.
Afternoon stroll?The next day, one of the opossums emerges for a late afternoon jaunt in the park, and takes a peek at the camera trap!Running away from Museum security!Can you see the flash light?Doing the Chores Finally, we caught lots of images of the opossums collecting leaves with their tails! Their prehensile tails are a great tool for grasping small objects and are sometimes used for hanging upside down in trees. Though the notion that they sleep hanging upside down is a myth, their tails are not strong enough to hold them upside down for an entire night.
Wait, there's more tin foil!What is in store for 2012? Sam's got a few tricks up his sleeve, which I'm not willing to reveal just yet. Suffice it to say that we're all hoping there will be babies in the spring! Happy 2012!