Sunday, June 3, 2007
The scent of the cat
The puma's lovefest on the rock didn't go unnoticed by three species that no doubt appear on the puma's menu. You saw the black bear sniffing the rock on the previous post. That was 26 hours after the puma's visit. Two more days passed, and then came the gray fox at 3:45 in the afternoon. It looks to me like his coat is bristling a bit -- the old autonomic response of pilo-erection. It could well be that just the scent of the cat made his hair stand up.
The next morning at 7:45 the jackrabbit hopped up on the rock and checked the scent too. In the past 6 months I've gotten perhaps a half dozen pictures of jackrabbits at this camera trap set, but this is the only rabbit that took its picture on the rock.
All of these mammals are sniffing the very same area where the cat rubbed it neck. I'd wager they're tuned in to an important cue -- a predator was here.