Thursday, December 6, 2007

Introduction to Mammals: Handbook of Nature Study

The weather is changing in our part of the world and so is our focus for nature study. We are going to be using the Handbook of Nature Study to learn more in depth about mammals. We have lots of regular visitors to our backyard that will lead us on our adventure into our study.

If you look on my sidebar, I have listed a fairly complete list of mammals we have observed already. We will be looking for information in the HNS and using online sources to help us learn more about their lives and habits.

Handbook of Nature Study
page 214:
"Mammals, in contrast to fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, are warm-blooded animals, as are birds. The skin of most mammals is more or less hairy, in contrast to the scale-covered fish and the feathered birds. The young of most mammals are born alive, whereas the young of birds, fish, amphibians, and some species of reptiles hatch from eggs. After birth young mammals breathe by lungs rather than by gills as do the fish; for a time they are nourished with milk produced by the mother."

We are going to start our study of mammals with one of our favorite subjects, our two pet cats, Cocoa and Espresso. There is a whole section in the HNS on cats starting on page 260. One section that particularly interests me is the subheading on page 264, "Cats Should Be Trained to Leave Birds Alone". (Don't tell Cocoa and Espresso that we are going to read that or they just may rip those pages out of the book.) There are many, many interesting points that Anna Botsford Comstock lists out to do in order to observe your cat.

Eager to get started, we will keep you updated with photos and observations.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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