As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
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Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

Some deer, two skulls, and a licence plate


There's a wood north of my village which I've passed by twice a day every school day for the last year and a half. It's about a mile long, but I never thought of exploring it, until last autumn when dad thought there may be otters. He went to look for sign sof them - but found lots of red deer markings instead. I left the trail camera there to film the red deer, then at the start of December, a roe deer died close to where the camera was, and it's been filming there ever since.

So I know lots about what is in the wood from the trail cam footage, but I hadn't explored it properly, so last Saturday I decided to explore the wood in more detail to see if I could see any animal signs or find more bones - and this is what I found !

Who has been eating the roe deer ?


Two weeks ago I blogged about a roe deer carcass which I found in a new red deer wood. I set up my trail camera on the body, expecting to quickly film predators, but by the time I wrote the first blogpost,  hardly anything had come at all, and the body was intact.

Since then, the body has been moved three times, and predation has begun. Of the predators so far, two were expected, one animal I thought would be a predator doesn't seem to be interested, and one other predator has turned up which was a BIG surprise !

A surprise box from Alaska


It has been extremely wintery here in Scotland for the last few days. Earlier in the week we had six inches of snow overnight: then the next day, we had double that, followed by a storm Even the pine marten's nest was destroyed in a storm last week (luckily the pine marten is okay though, here's a video of it yesterday !).

Many animals are really adapted for living in cold climates, and it doesn't get much colder than Alaska, one of the US states which is up besides Canada. A very kind man called Mr McDonough who works for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game contacted me last summer, asking me if I was interested in any skulls from his area. All of the skulls he suggested were amazing, like a moose and a coyote, but there were practical (and legal !) difficulties with such a big gift. Then this box arrived - read on to see what was inside !

The death experiment


One of the most common emails I get in my inbox is: "How long does it take for a body to decompose ?" (Yep, my inbox can be a bit weird at times). But this is useful to know, because if you find a half decomposed body you can work out when it died, and when the bones should be clean by. So here's my expert answer based on all my years of experience:

I don't know. 

I don't know because it all depends on so many different factors that it's almost impossible to tell. I've seen a juvenile red deer which was reduced to white bones in three months, or the badger had still had most of its skin intact after eight months, and it depends on weather, size of the animal, temperature, and all sorts of things. This week's post is about an experiment I have been doing to try and learn more about how long decomposition takes. (Warning: it's a bit yucky in parts !)

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