Coyotes are part of the same family as dogs. They can be found in Alaska and Canada all the way down into Mexico and Central America. The word “coyote” was originally a Spanish translation of the Aztec word “coyotl”. In Native American stories, Coyote is intelligent, sneaky and has a big appetite. Coyote is both a hero who creates, teaches, and helps humans; and an antihero who shows the dangers of negative behaviors like greed, recklessness, and pride; in still other stories, he is a trickster whose lack of wisdom gets him into trouble while his cleverness gets him back out. In some stories, he is even some sort of combination of all three at once.
One mouse, two mice; one moose, two ….moose! Neither mooses nor meese are correct; moose is a Native American word which has no plural. Moose means “twig eater”, which describes what they eat – plants, leaves, pine cones, buds and bark from trees. They are big animals – 5 to 6 ½ feet from ground to shoulder, (not including head and antlers). Their antlers can grow up to 6 feet wide and weigh 50-60 pounds. Moose like the cold weather, and have wide hooves which act like snowshoes in the wintertime. Moose are strong swimmers and can swim up to 2 hours without a break, or 6 mph and as far as 12.4 miles. A moose’s front legs are longer than its back legs. This helps the moose more easily jump over things lying in its path. Purrs, Gulliver
How much do you weigh? Male elk grow a new set of antlers every year, starting in the spring. The antlers can grow up to 1 inch a day, and weigh 40 pounds before they fall off. I get a headache just thinking of all that weight on the head! Most of us use our mouths to talk. An elk will bark warnings and bugle, a cry which is loud and carries for miles. Yet when talking to friends close by, elk use their legs. The bones in their ankles make popping noises so they know when another elk comes near. Elk represented strength, courage, and wisdom to Native Americans.
Did you know that birds descended from dinosaurs? The first bird-type dinosaur was called “Archaeopteryx,” which means “ancient wing” Birds share many similarities with dinosaurs, including feathers, scales and laying eggs. Scientists study each creature to compare skin, bones, hearts and lungs and other body pieces to connect the two. Some birds do not fly or have very limited ability to fly. Think of turkeys and ostriches. Others, like penguins and puffins can swim better than fly or walk. Next time you see a bird, tell everyone they are looking at a modern day dinosaur!