February 12, 2013

Visit to the Burke Museum

The Alderleaf Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship program had an wonderful time visiting and viewing the collections at the Burke Museum in Seattle.  The students and instructors spent time studying the skulls of a variety of birds, mammals and even some snakes.  We also got to view the wings of various Pacific Northwestern bird species.  Here are some highlights from our trip:

Here students Jeremy and Andrew view an immense gray whale skull that is on display.  Most of the skulls we looked at were considerably smaller!

Here is a variety of hides from a variety of northwestern native rodents, including Douglas' squirrels, northern flying squirrel, several voles (including an albino specimen), some least chipmunks and a variety of small insectivores.

Here is a close up of a gopher snake skeleton that we got to view.  Notice the large eye sockets, wide bones reenforcing the nose and the many, many ribs.

The impressive skull of a northern Pacific rattlesnake.  Notice the large, hinged fangs at the front of the mouth.  They have a hollow chamber through which the venom is injected.  Compared to mammals, the skulls of snakes are very fragile and much more loosely arranged.

We all left the museum feeling very grateful for the opportunity to have been there and for all of the knowledge we had gained.

More updates coming soon!

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