About Me

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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.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kit fox and measuring stick

Kit fox positions itself for measurement.  

I have to hand it to Craig for coming up with the measuring stick idea.

What better way to distinguish three canids like kit fox, gray fox and coyote when they are standing there in the distance?

Sometimes pictures just aren't good enough.

The solution?

Just measure the shoulder height of your subjects.

It's a legitimate morphometric for separating these three species.

It's hard to judge body size without a reference, but it's not a  problem when the animals stand next to the measuring stick to sniff their favorite brand of stinkum.

Okay, you do have to take camera angle into account, but a little trigonometry never hurts.

The bigger problem is maintaining maximum visibility of the measuring stick.

That grass grows like crazy at this time of year, and Craig is spending a lot more time riding the mower these days.


Kitt said...


Jen said...

fox-like wit right there.