내 책은 지금 한국에서 발표되었습니다! 자세한 내용은 여기를 참조하십시오.
My book is now published in South Korea ! Read more here.
내 책은 지금 한국에서 발표되었습니다! 자세한 내용은 여기를 참조하십시오.
My book is now published in South Korea ! Read more here.
Welcome to Jake's Bones - my blog all about bone collecting !

My name is Jake McGowan-Lowe, and I'm a twelve year-old naturalist and bone collector from Scotland. I've been collecting skulls and bones since I was six, and I now have hundreds of amazing skulls and thousands of other bones.

I began blogging about bones when I was seven and ever since then every single weekend I have written something new here (over 300 posts so far !) Mostly it's about skulls or bones that I've found, but sometimes it's about places I've explored or wildlife that I see on my walks. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it !



Congratulations to the "Secrets of Bones" team !

Jake

Big congratulations to Ben Garrod and all of the team who worked on "Secrets of Bones" ! Last night, after I flew back to Edinburgh from SOMETHING COOL I CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT YET, I heard that "Secrets of Bones" had won the award in the presenter-led category at the Wildscreen Festivals.

I've known Ben through email and Twitter for ages, and we met when I was down in London last summer. I blogged about Secrets of Bones throughout the series, did an interview with him at the time, and who knows, we might end up doing something in the future. You never know !

The other thing I have learned from doing TV work this year is how much of a team effort it is, and how many really skilled people it takes to direct, plan, produce, film and do the sound for TV. I know one of the team who worked on "Secrets of Bones" (Abi) because she also was on the CBBC Wild crew who filmed me.

Congratulations to the whole team !

My guest post on Cathy Cassidy's blog

Jake

When I was giving a talk in Bath two weeks ago for the Bath Children's Literature Festival  I met the author Cathy Cassidy who was giving a talk at the same time as me. Mrs Cassidy is the author of 25 pretty amazing books mainly for young teenage readers.

She asked me if I'd like to do a guest post on her website about becoming a published author at a young age, and I was really happy to say yes. You can find it here on "Cathy Cassidy: Dreamcatcher"

Searching for the red deer rut

Jake





The rut is the one most amazing wildlife events in Britain. It is when the red deer stags (males) round up the female red deer (hinds) for mating, and fight over them with other stags. The stags actually change shape slightly at this time of year and grow a thick neck mane, and you can hear roaring in the woods from miles away.

The rut is also one of the scariest times to be out in the woods when you at in a dark wood at twilight and hear strange roaring from both sides of you, or - and this happened to me yesterday - when you see a huge angry stag roaring and coming towards you, armed with a massive set of 10-point antlers. Read on if you want to know what happened next !

Bath and back

Jake

So: Bath was amazing. It was something I had been looking forward to since April, when I was first asked to give a talk at the Bath Children's Literature Festival. I've given talks about my book and about my bones before, but this one was definitely the most enjoyable one I have given so far.

Giving talks is amazing and scary all at the same time. You get to meet  a lot of really great people who are interested in wildlife and bones, and who either enjoyed my book or who are looking forward to reading it. The scary bit comes from having to prepare for it, wondering if people will turn up, and wondering if you'll remember everything you'd like to say !


My whale vertebra

Jake

This is a shorter than normal post than I normally write for this week, because I've been preparing for my talk at the Bath Childrens' Literature Festival tomorrow (I'm actually writing this post from my hotel in England). So I thought I'd write a quick post about a very interesting bone I was given.

It was a gift from the man who runs the village shop, who found it in Oban, on the west coast of Scotland, when he was about my age. I live about as far away from the coast as it is possible to get in Scotland, so I'm always excited by bones from sea birds and mammals. This one is particularly interesting, and is so massive it has to go on top of my display cabinets with my cow and pig skulls.

Everything I've learned about trail cameras

Jake

It's almost a year now that since I bought my first Bushnell trail camera (I bought it with my first book money), and pretty much every night since them it's been out in the woods filming wildlife. It's always exciting going back to it to see what's on it, and it's fun trying to invent new ways to film wildlife. So far I've filmed roe and red deer, foxes, pine marten, squirrels, birds, rabbits,

I'm not an expert, but I've learnt a lot in the last year. I've blogged before about filming my pine marten and red deer herd, but here's pretty much I've learned about using my trail camera from the last year !



The common bone hardly anyone has heard of

Jake

Here's a bone that's incredibly common, but hardly anyone has them, and even I had to look up the proper name for it. I have hundred of skulls in my room, so in theory I should have two of these for every skull, but I think this is the first pair of them I have. And like most animal bones, you will have two of these in your own body !

So this bone is flat, a bit like a bird scapula (shoulderblade). The ones I found are about 8cm long, and at one end look slightly like a rib, with a Y-shaped split. At the other end it is wider and curver, very slightly like a bird humerus, but much flatter. But this one isn't from a bird, but a large mammal. But before I tell you what it is, I'll tell you about how it was found.

Behind the scenes filming on CBBC WIld

Jake

So...as I revealed earlier in the week, at 9am today my piece on CBBC Wild will be broadcast. I haven't yet seen the final version, so I hope you like it ! It all began a couple of months ago when a friend on Twitter sent me a tweet saying that the CBBC (children's BBC, if you're outside the UK) wildlife show were looking for young naturalists, and suggested I put my name forward. I've been on TV before (most recently on Winterwatch this year) and it sounded interesting, especially if it got more people my age interested in bone collecting. 

I got an email back saying that I was already well known at the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol (where most of the wildlife programmes are based, including Winter/Spring/Autumnwatch, and Ben Garrod's Secrets of Bones), and  I'm not sure what the exact selection process was, but a few weeks after that my parents got a call to arrange a date for filming. There were lots of forms to fill out, and the BBC got permission to film in one of the woods around my village, then in the middle of August, at 9am, the three person crew of Ruth, Abi and Steven arrived !


Look out for me on CBBC Wild this Saturday !

Jake


So my news for this week is that I'm appearing on the first episode of the new series of CBBC Wild this Saturday ! It's on at 9am on the CBBC Channel, and my bit is one of the weekly segments about young naturalists.

I spent two days filming with Wild last month at my home and the woods around it. I've done filming before, but it was really exciting going out with the crew and narrating a typical day for me. I was filmed finding two skeletons, cleaning bones, working with my trail camera, rearticulating part of a skeleton, and laying out Roger (the skeleton I blogged about last week).


The three skeleton mystery

Jake

This week's post is about age indicators on bones. Telling an animal's age can be easy when they are young, because there are lots of indicators with teeth (like my one), bone size and unfused bones, but the exact age of adult skeletons can be very difficult to say exactly. Even for deer, where I have lots of comparative skulls, teeth wear at different rates whether the deer eats grass or heather, so generally you can only say whether a deer is "very young", "juvenile", "adult" or "old" rather than a precise age.

But this week's post is a mystery too, and I'm hoping some experts have some ideas. If you're in a rush, just go down to the very end of the post, where I put the question I would like ideas about !




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