Otters in the mist

Berkeley, California

Once again I have returned to the San Francisco Bay Area. To kick off another week of museum study, I dissected a North American river otter skull (Lontra canadensis) yesterday. With the help of my friend Alan Shabel of the Department of Integrative Biology, we separated the powerful jaw muscles and weighed them.

[Alan dissecting an otter skull]

The intense day of dissection was followed by contemplation up at Alan's house, in the Berkeley Hills. I have a great view of Wildcat Canyon from my room, which overlooks one of the park areas with an abundance of local birds and mammals.

[looking into Tilden Park]

From a single vantage point on the back porch I saw California towhees, black-capped chickadees, Anna's hummingbirds, fox squirrels, signs of gophers, golden-crowned sparrows, and a variety of vocalizations I am too rusty to identify.


1 comment:

Spencer said...

Okay. Your title? Funniest ever.

And that sounds like a beautiful area you were in. I'm green, Jack!


P.S. I have a lot of post to catch up on! Whew!