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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Turds revisited

Scat found on the flume trail, October 23, 2010

Not sure of the critter that dropped this load, but it didn't look like the usual coyote and gray fox scat I am used to seeing.

Fred sniffed them with unusual interest, telling me it was not the same old stuff.

It was twisty and segmented, but I wasn't tempted to share in Fred's olfactory experience.

So I scanned the trail for other hikers and dog walkers, and discretely took the picture above.

The turds were still there yesterday, and two and half months of winter weather had prepared them for closer visual inspection.

They were filled with black and white hair.

Young and Goldman wrote that "Skunk hair has been found in puma dung throughout most of the animal's range in the United States".

That doesn't prove they were left by a puma, which often cover their scat.

So the identification as puma scat is just a guess.

The same scat 2 and a half months later.


bigcatdetective said...

At first glance it does look cat-like to me,pumas are known for segmented scat from what i,ve seen on the net.Amazing how after 3 months it,s still kept it,s shape

biobabbler said...

I think your guess is a good one. We've found mt. lion scat at a project site that wasn't the least bit buried, but was VERY very long. Skunk eating--interesting. I also know, at least in Yosemite valley, they kill and eat the fat and sassy raccoons every few years which pig out on pizza at Curry Village. =)