Hello! My name is Mr. Greenslate. Please join me as I travel to Nova Scotia to study mammal populations!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching from Nova Scotia w/ Earthwatch: Searching for Field Signs


While the last few days have been spent doing many of the same tasks: setting and checking traps, deer scat counts, and working on the research station, today I took my first walk to look for field signs. My partner Jenny and I walked through the area on assigned trails, and recorded any indications of small mammal life.

As amateur researchers we found this task particularly difficult. Walking around looking for the signs of these animals is kind of like trying to find a penny in an overflowing dumpster. However, we did find several things: deer tracks in the mud, marks on tress from deer trying to shed the velvet off of their antlers, porcupine damage on trees, a chipmunk den, a squirrel on a log, etc. The foliage on the forest floor made it difficult to look for scat, and our worries about being on the right path distracted us from focusing as well as we could have.

Today's question: Why do deer try to shed the velvet from their antlers?

Challenge option: Go outside with a notepad and a pen, pick an area that you will work through, and write down any signs of animals life that you can find; then post what you found.

- Mr. Greenslate


33 comments:

  1. When the velvet is no longer needed, a ring at the bottom of the antler shaft forms and it cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients. The velvet begins to fall off and as a result, the deer starts to run his antlers against trees to grow new antlers.

    ~Ashh R

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  2. Velvet is first needed for the deer because after the deer has shed its antlers, it must grow new ones. The velvet is a skin around the growing antlers that feeds the bone blood and nutrition for bone mass. Once the bone is bulk and no longer needs nutrition, the skin withers and sheds off, deers aid this by rubbing it against trees.

    -Ben Abeyta

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  3. They shed their antlers to grow new ones. They shed them between the months of January and April because they no longer need to attract a mate.

    -Fiona

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  4. Deer shed their antlers annually as a prelude to the regeneration, or re-growth, of new ones. This shedding procedure takes two or three weeks to complete.
    joseph Perez

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  5. Deer shed their antlers annually as a prelude to the regeneration, or re-growth, of new ones.
    Outside I saw that there were animals because of trampled grass and scat left behind. Also there was a bird nest with eggs in it, so therefore there is some sort of bird living there.
    -lisa

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  6. The deers shed there velvet so that new ones can grow.

    What I found was a lot of poop and there where feathers which made me think that there was a bird once there.
    -Arnold

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  7. The velvet on a deer's horns dies and begins to fall off after the horns are fully grown. By rubbing their antlers on a tree, deers get rid of the dead velvet, strengthen their necks for combat during mating season, and mark their scents around their territories.
    -Jesse A.

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  8. first post! i saw a bunny and tons of mole holes and then i saw more bunny scat and went and found my dogs scat. i also found a dead gopher on the trail below my house

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  9. Hello Mr. Greenslate!

    The reason deer try to shed the velvet from their antlers is to suffice the re-growth of the antlers. The antlers are no longer needed to impress females nor fight other male deer. (:

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  10. Deer shed their antlers annually as a prelude to the regeneration, or re-growth, of new ones. -Chase B.

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  11. Deers do this so the antlers will turn to hard bone. This will happen right before mating season. -Connor Enciso

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  12. "Velvet" Is the sensitive skin filled with blood vessels that feed the antlers and help them grow. Antlers only grow for 2 to 4 months at a time, when they are done growing, a ring will appear around the base of the antler which will shut off blood flow, in conclusion the deers rub there head against tree bark.

    Julia*

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  13. It takes a deer a few weeks to shed there antlers but they do it so that they can grow new ones. They then grow new antlers during the summer.

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  14. well i found lots of poop in our park broken spriklers and chip munks squirrels and dogs
    joshua cowling

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  15. The blood will not be able to flow, so they rub off there velvet in order to let the blood to continue flowing.
    -Reagan

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  16. Deer shed their antlers annually before they regrow new ones. The velvet is skin that allows blood flow to the growing antlers. When the antlers are fully grown, the velvet is no longer needed.

    ~Nathaniel

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  17. deer try to shed the velvet from their antlers because they need to grow new antlers. It's almost like a snake shedding its skin.

    _Gregory jordan

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  18. Deer they shed their antlers in order to grow new ones. This process happens between the months of January and April because it is not mating season. - Makai

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  19. Deer shed their antlers once a year after mating season. Often times, they are so bashed up from fighting for a mate large chunks are missing. The "velvet", which normally helps the antlers grow, it is cut off by a ring at the bottom of the antlers. They eventually fall off, a process that is painless.

    - Nicole

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  20. Deer shed the velvet which is filled with blood vessels that feed the antlers nutrients and help them grow. A ring is formed around the antler to stop the blood flow causing the deer to rub their heads against a tree for the room of new ones to grow.

    -Haylee

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  21. It hardens the antlers before mating season. -Elliott

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  22. Deer shed their antlers annually as a prelude to the re-growth of new ones. The velvet dries off and falls off with the assistance of the deer rubbing his antlers against the bark of a tree.
    -Alyssa

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  23. Deer try to shed the velvet on their antlers after it has finished its purpose. The velvet is there to help the antlers during their re-growth by delivering blood and nutrients. The deer shed the velvet after the antlers are completely re-grown. The velvet dries out and withers away and the deer also rub them against tree trunks to help the shedding process.

    >> Heather O'Connell

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  24. This is just a guess but they shed their old antlers to grow new ones for they can seem a little more intimidating to their components.

    -Jesseah

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  25. because the blood will not be able to flow correctly if they do not

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  26. they shed there antlers because its been one yr after mating season and they grow new ones so they rub there heads agianst the tree so that new ones come in

    -Joshua

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  27. Deer try to shed the velvet from their antlers so that they can grow new ones. The velvet is filled with blood vessels that feed the antlers with vitamins and minerals so they can grow; once the bone is sufficiently built up, the velvet is no longer needed. The blood supply is cut off, and the velvet peels off so that only the bone remains.

    -Alex Clay

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  28. they do it cause prelude to the regeneration, or re-growth, of new ones.

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  29. Deer shed the velvet from their antlers in order for them to grow new ones. The velvet's main purpose is to supply nutrients to the antlers when they are growing.

    -Francis

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  30. to continue growing newer ones

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  31. The deer shed their antlers only to be able to grow in new ones.

    ~Janet A

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  32. The "velvet" is used to help grow bone mass, but after about 2-4 months of growth, the velvet is no longer needed and the deer shed it.
    -Corey

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  33. because the velvet is no longer needed.
    -jenna

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