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 !



Bog men and strange decomposition

Jake
Jake

BIG NEWS - I've a big announcement on Monday at 8am: check out my blog post then !

From collecting bones, I know quite a lot about decomposition. When an animal dies, the soft tissue, sinew and organs start to break down, releasing bacteria that eventually break down everything except the bones and cartilage. Often you can find the entire skeleton lying in the same position it had been inside the body.

 But what if it happened the other way around ? What if the bones decomposed and the soft tissue remained - maybe even for thousands of years ? It may sound completely strange, but dad told me  about something he saw when he visited the National Museum of Ireland while he was giving a talk in Dublin. These are the "bog people", and what happened to their bodies is stranger than fiction.


A gruesome find and a new mystery

Jake
Jake
Jake
  
Warning: Most of the posts I write are suitable for young children, but this one is slightly more gruesome and sad, so parents of younger children might want to read this first, since it raises other issues they might not have discussed with them yet.

The wood where this week's story took place is a wood that I would not usually look for bones. Unlike the huge dark pine forests with earth floors where I normally look for bones, this one  is a thin strip of deciduous trees (the leaves fall off, unlike pine trees) where grass grows. Open woods like this are more difficult to find bones, partly because they don't offer much protection to animals like deer, and also because if an animal dies there, the grass and leaves quickly cover up their skeletons

 But the reason that I was in this wood was because I had left my trail cam there for the past week to see what animals passed through there. Dad and I walked up there an hour before sunset to see what had been recorded, but I ended up finding something completely unexpected.


17 great Christmas gifts for bone collectors

Jake




This week I have been writing my Christmas list, which got me thinking about what presents would be a good choice for anyone who likes nature, especially people my age. 

There are loads of great gifts out but I have picked my top 17 (for all ages). They go from stocking fillers for a couple of pounds to great experiences for hundreds of pounds, but all of them are pretty amazing and would definitely put a smile on someone's face !



Close up with Stegosaurus !

Jake


Of all the dinosaurs, Stegosaurus is one of the easiest to recognise.  This two-ton monster had 17 spiky plates on its back, could beat you to death with its tail, and last weekend I got to see one ( as a skeleton obviously, I don't have a time machine.) 

Stegosaurus lived about 150-155 million years ago, and skeletons have mainly been found in America with one in Europe. The first fossil was found in 1877 and it was named a stegosaurus, which in Greek means "covered lizard", because of the armour along the spine. Read on to find out more !

Is this a pine marten on my trail camera ?

Jake




As you know, I've been filming with my trail camera for about a year now. I got this video last night, with my camera which is filming a spot just outside an overgrown disused graveyard in the middle of a wood. But it isn't clear and I need some help working out what it shows ! 

Keep a close eye on the bottom of the wall on the left. Is that a pine marten ? You can hear something as well, but it's very indistinct, so you'll have to turn your sound up. 

Watching the salmon run

Jake

The salmon run is one of the most amazing things to see. I'm lucky because at this time of year  you can watch the salmon migrating back up the river that flows through my village. But how can you see salmon swimming up a river ? Because they jump right out of the water to climb up waterfalls !

I was busy for a lot of last week (the second week of my half term) so I didn't get to go up the river to look for them until Saturday. There had been heavy rain the night before, and the current in the river was much higher than normal, and this is what I found when Dad and I walked up.


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 !





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