29 June 2007

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Coyote said...

I've been reading your blog for several months now and enjoying learning about snails, and this post actually had me laugh out loud. Well put!

A few weeks ago I found a dead arboreal salamander in my yard. It was fascinating to watch the ants, slugs, terrestrial leeches and sowbugs go to work on the body for a few days. I was hoping to wind up with a skeleton eventually, but someone's dog made off with the corpse long before things got to that stage.

Anonymous said...

I put an older but equally dead fledgling on our compost heap a couple of weeks ago. It had some feathers but they were very thin and bedraggled. The worrying thing was, I could have sworn I saw the same bird at our bird table last week. Clearly a zombie.


Coyote: If you want the bones from a dead animal, you need to make the body inaccessible to large scavangers, but accessible only to insects & other small invertebrates.

To my great surprise, however, yesterday this particular dead chick was still at the same spot out on a sidewalk ~24 hours after I photographed it.

Coyote said...

I now know we need to put a fence in the yard. At least one neighborhood dog is getting into that area and eating the garden snails, because each morning I see new batches of crushed H. aspersa shells -- sometimes with the snail still attached, but mostly just pieces of shell. No wonder the salamander disappeared so quickly, with a dog getting in there. We're renting, so I hope the landlord gives permission to put in a small fence.