I've been busy with several papers and thesis-related work, so my posting of late has been sparse and sporadic. Once the New Year rolls around (and once I get these pesky papers submitted), I'll be able to focus on some of the really fun things I want to talk about.
Here is a little teaser of one of my planned posts. It's winter, and all the shorebirds have moved on to more hospitable climes. I had a great deal of fun while collecting my neoichnology (a.k.a. modern tracks) samples this summer, and I'm missing my warmer weather and feathered friends.
One of my targets is the Solitary Sandpiper (or Tringa solitaria for the binomial) These are goofy shorebirds: they regularly sit in trees along swampy and marshy areas. They also nest in trees. When they are not pretending to be passerines (they have a hallux, but not one that is in any way useful for actual perching) they spend their time foraging for invertebrates that live on the water's edge.
|What did the traces of these particular sandpipers look like? Stay tuned for next time!|
|Bill probes left by a different Solitary Sandpiper. Scale = 10cm.|
|Sleepy sandpipers. Canada Goose tracks in the foreground.|
|Stylized BIG cat prints in the cement at the Page La Brea Tar Pits Museum in LA, showing the tri-lobed pad.|
|Maia triple-cat-dares you to say that she is neither large nor dangerous enough to have made the prints above.|