On Wednesday, February 6th we had a special visitor. Her name was Dr. Erin McCance from the University of Manitoba. With her, she brought different animal skulls, her animal trackers/collars, antlers, teeth and pictures that she took.
The first thing she showed us was an elk skull and some of it’s teeth. We thought it was SO awesome and interesting. For some of us it was our first time touching a real skull. Did you know that a female elk is called a cow and a male is called a bull?
Next, Dr. McCance talked about the difference between horns and antlers. Horns never fall off. Antlers fall off every winter and the animal grows new ones in the spring.
Did you know that a moose can weight up to 1500 pounds? We didn’t! Dr. McCance brought in a pair of real life male moose antlers for us to hold. They felt hard and very heavy. They must be VERY STRONG to hold up those antlers!
Something that is very gross and interesting about moose is the way they attract the females with their bells. When the male moose want to find a mate they head to the muddiest area, walk in, go pee and they roll around in the mixture. The bell than starts to smell like the mixture and believe it or not the females love it. It is like perfume for moose!
Dr. McCance explained to us that most of the male animal skulls she had with her had antlers but the white-tailed deer female also has antlers. Did you know that a female deer is called a doe and a male is called a buck?
How many stomachs do you think white-tailed deer have? They have not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 stomachs! When the white-tailed deer eats it’s food it goes down into it’s first stomach. When it lays down the deer regurgitates it’s food from the first stomach and rechews food ssssslllllllooooowwwwwwlllllllllyyyy. We learned so much information with Dr. McCance.
One of the most important pieces of information that Dr. McCance shared with us was to “watch wildlife from far away because they might hurt you by mistake” like bite or attack you. She also said to leave the job of taking care of the babies to the mothers. Dr. McCance told us not to feed wild life because they can get confused and that it is important that they learn to find food for themselves. Some of the food that we might feed them is not good for their diet and can make them sick.
We LOVED seeing the animal bones and having Dr. McCance come to visit us. We would love to see her again and learn some more!