Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CSI Miamiville (Or, Things that make you go Hmmm....)

At the risk of everyone telling me that I should change the name of my blog to "Susan Gets Dead Stuff"...
I went on a walk today at Kelley's Nature Preserve. Today was Lorelei's last day of school, so I wanted to get out and make this last day count (Geoff said I made it out to be the "Last Supper")

I seem to have the knack (or is it misfortune?) to always find crime scenes. They are everywhere.
I can't help it...and thanks to Julie, aka The Science Chimp, I try to puzzle out what happened and to who.

*Graphic ickies ahead....tread at your own peril*

This was strewn across the path:
Remains. Guts. Innards. Pick your word, that's what it was. Intestines, maybe a stomach?

That ain't worms, y'all.
Small pieces of fresh meat, a slug, green flies...

CSI veggie matter
Here's what I think is the stomach...full of veggie matter. And split open. Ew.
So this is a mammal of some kind. (It didn't look like a bird's digestive system)

CSI Pretty Fly
There was a beautiful orange/black fly tasting the deli selection.

I didn't find any bones. That might have been helpful in this CSI case.

CSI Hairy Situation
Macro of the hair stuck to some of the remains. Course, black with pale tips.
Is this from the eater or the eatee?

Tracks around the scene were canine, but that could be either coyote or regular old pet dog.
Things that make you go "hmmmmm...."

I don't know about you, but I need some cleansing photos.
How about young salamanders?

Mom's Salamander
My Mom's pond is almost a vernal pool...but it usually stays wet most of the year.
(Unless there's a horrible drought) The water never gets more that 2 or 3 feet deep.
I thought this guy was a frog, until it showed us it's profile. I am a newbie at salamanders. What kind is this?

Salamander youngin
And here's a slightly younger one...still sporting crazy gills. Whenever I see these guys, they remind me of Oriental dragons. (You know the paintings you see of ancient dragons, with all that crazy stuff behind their heads?
And what is up with the dandruffy water there?

These last two are for Nina, our resident Salamander-phile.


Trixie said...

Hmmm...I have no offerings to help solve the crime. Was it smelly, too?

And, yes, I have always thought of dragons when I see those guys, too.

Sorry that school is letting out...

Anonymous said...

Could it be the remains of a Wallaby that had been attacked by a mountain goat??


nina said...

Salamanders? Did I hear someone say salamanders?

Everything I've come across says it's basically impossible to ID larvae at this stage. So much variation and similarities between species.

But I'll guess.
The first doesn't seem wide enough at the mouth to be a sallie--the more triangular face says small frog? perhaps peeper? And I see no external gills (which remain as long as they're in water)(as soon as sallie's gills are resorbed, they walk out onto land)
The ones in my tank are the very first to appear of the season, Jefferson's. Spotteds come about 3 weeks later, so their larvae will be less developed right now, compared to Jeffs.(my Jeffs have 4 legs and small gills) (that second picture looks like what my spotteds look like now--not yet legged)

So, my guess would be:
1. peeper almost ready to lose tail
2. spotted sallie larva

Whatever they are--so cool!!!!!
(and that may indeed, be a vernal pool--some hold water all year--the defining requirement is "no fish")

NCmountainwoman said...

Fascinating. However, I do think I'll start reading your blog with my after-dinner wine rather than my morning coffee.

Love the salamanders.

dguzman said...

I'm sure the Chimp will swing in here and take a crack at this mystery. I have no idea. Nice pix, though! (eewww)

And I KNEW you'd link back to that damned "egg," you little stinker.

mon@rch said...

Finding all these dead things . . . you must be an Ohio ambassador to Turkey Vultures!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Eee! Eeee! (dropping from her vine)

Cottontail stomach and gut, removed because coyotes (and dogs) don't like vegetables. Hair also belongs to the cottontail (black with tan tip). Owls remove the gut, too.

Eee! Eee!

My favorite kind of post. Keep on wit yo' dead stuff.

Julie Zickefoose said...

The Chimp thinks the first shot is a red-spotted newt. But it's just a guess, not a full-on S.C. Attack.

nina said...

How big is that #1 creature? One inch or 6 inches?
I'd also guess newt if it's big. Somehow, I was thinking it was comparable in size to the other.

p.s. I released my sallies tonight. Sniff.

Susan Gets Native said...

That first one was about 5 or so inches long. And hey...I appreciate any help here. My strength lies in birds of prey, not their food. : ) hee hee

Susan Gets Native said...

And by the way, Nina....that pond has ZERO fish. Can I study it for the Vernal Pool thingy?

KatDoc said...

Oogie post, Susan. You're grossing even me out. I prefer freshly dead or mummfied; the mangled and putrified are just plain nasty.

~Kathi, who has zero input on the salamander question

Mary said...

I should have photographed the head and tailess rabbit I found. SC would have sniffed it out, dropped from her vine, and ID'd the murderer.

RuthieJ said...

LOL Susan! I'm fascinated with the dead stuff too! Never miss a chance to take a closer look and try to figure out what happened (unless it's already stinky, of course!)
Have a good summer vacation!