Category Archives: Vertebrate Zoology

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Of the seven species of living sea turtles found around the world, the most critically-endangered is the Kemp’s ridley (Testudines: Cheloniidae: Lepidochelys kempii). Although these turtles can be found all the way from Nova Scotia down through the Gulf of Mexico, … Continue reading

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Black Skimmer

Black Skimmers (Charadriiformes: Laridae: Rynchops niger) are relatively large and interesting birds that can be found from South America up through the Gulf of Mexico. These skimmers feed primarily on fish and are almost always found near bodies of water. … Continue reading

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Stretching for dinner

Last week I was out at Chiricahua National Monument in southeast Arizona.  One thing that caught my eye was this Arizona white-tailed deer (Artiodactyla: Cervidae: Odocoileus virginianus couesi).  After spotting me at some distance it seemed bashful and hid for a minute. Once … Continue reading

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Seeking Solitude at Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is located in east-central Nevada and is one of our country’s least-known and least-visited parks. Back in 2013 my wife, her friend and I drove a few hours north of Las Vegas to get a taste of what this remote … Continue reading

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The Great Salt Lake, Utah

Beyond the Great Lakes that surround my native Michigan, the next largest lake in the United States is the Great Salt Lake in northern Utah. Although the lakes of both states share similarly impressive surface areas they are incredibly different in … Continue reading

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Marmot Crossing

Last week I spent a couple of nights camping at Great Basin National Park in east-central Nevada. One point of interest was a stretch of road near Baker Creek that was crawling with yellow-bellied marmots (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Marmota flaviventris). So many … Continue reading

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Strut Your Stuff

Wild Turkeys (Galliformes: Phasianidae: Meleagris gallopavo) are found throughout large areas of the United States and Mexico, especially in the east. They are particularly common in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Males turkeys begin courtship in … Continue reading

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