Events, commentary, reports about Long Lake NY. Real Adirondack Experience

Animal Facts


A long time ago, people used to think bats were birds without feathers. But now we know that there is no such thing as a featherless bird. We know that bats are MAMMALS, just like people.

Some of the things that tell us bats are mammals:

  • bats are warm blooded
  • bats nurse their babies with milk
  • bats have fur

But bats are very special mammals. They are the only mammals that can fly (without an airplane!) Flying squirrels are mammals too, but they don’t really fly. They jump from high in a tree glide through the air like a kite. Bats flap their wings and fly like a birds mostly at night but can be seen during the day under rare circumstances. Some people often build “Bat Houses”, like bird houses to encourage these amazing animals to their backyards.

Scientific Information: Bats make up the order Chiroptera.


A bear’s senses are very important to its survival. They have great senses of smell, sight and hearing.

A bear can smell food, cubs, a mate or danger from miles away. Wow! What a sniffer! They also rely on other bears’ sense of smell when they mark their territory with urine and droppings. Bears have terrific eyesight, too. It helps them to identify ripe fruit and nuts.They use their keen hearing to notice and track smaller animals (food) scurrying around under leaves and brush.

Some of the things that tell us bears are mammals:

  • bears are warm blooded
  • bears nurse their babies with milk
  • bears have fur

Many people often think of bears as big, ferocious creatures that are brown, black or white. Bears are much more than that. They are definitely big, and yes, they are very strong. They can be scary, but most will only become aggressive when threatened or when their babies are threatened and even then many species of bear won’t attack. Bears are solitary and quite docile animals that have been given a bad reputation. They are smart, shy and are great at hiding when they need to. There is very little information on some bears because researchers have a hard time finding them!

Bears come in many different colors, shape, and sizes and they live all over the world, except Antarctica and Australia. Their habitats range from the snowy northern tundra to dense rain forests and high mountains. Most species of bears live to around 25 years of age.

There are eight different species of bears. They are Asiatic, Black, Brown, Polar, Panda, Sloth, Spectacled and Sun. Some of these species has a few sub-species. For example, the sub-species of the brown bear include the Grizzly bear and the Kodiak bear.


Chipmunks are rodents, and are very closely related to squirrels, in fact are members of the squirrel family. The fact that chipmunks are generally much smaller than squirrels usually makes it easy to tell the difference between chipmunk and squirrel, but this is possible even in the case of young, small squirrels. A defining feature of the North American chipmunk are the stripes on their backs.

  • chipmunks weigh on average 1.5 ounces
  • chipmunks live in a 3 acre radius
  • chipmunks store food in the winter to snack on

Chipmunks also have pouches in their cheeks for storing food to take to their burrows or to hide in caches. Squirrels do not have cheek pouches. A sure fire way to tell a chipmunk from a squirrel is to chase one, or scare one away. A squirrel will run away with its tail in parallel to the ground. Chase a chipmunk, and it runs with its tail held vertically in the air.

Scientific Information: Scientific Name – Tamias striatus


The mountain lion is tan in color, with black tipped ears and tail. Adults weigh 80 to 180 pounds and stand two to three feet high at the shoulders. The length of an adult lion is 6 to 8 feet from the nose to the tip of the tail. The tail measures one-third of the lions length. Mountain lion kittens have camouflaging spots and rings around their tails.

Some of the things that tell us bats are mammals:

  • mountain lions are carnivores
  • mountain lion adults weigh 80 to 180 pounds
  • mountain lions can bound up to 40 feet running & 15 ft up trees

Mountain lions are calm, quiet and elusive. They prefer areas with dense undergrowth and cover, and will leave an area where they perceive a threat. Mountain lions live solitary lives, spacing themselves across their habitat by marking and defending areas known as home ranges. Home ranges contain resources cougars need to survive: hunting areas, water sources, safe resting places, lookouts, and for females, safe places to raise young. Although lions are solitary unless mating or accompanied by their young, their territories will often overlap those of the opposite sex, and only occasionally overlap with those of the same sex.

Scientific Information:  Puma Concolor – Cat of one color


The coyote appears often in the tales and traditions of Native Americans—usually as a very savvy and clever beast. Modern coyotes have displayed their cleverness by adapting to the changing American landscape. These members of the dog family once lived primarily in open prairies and deserts, but now roam the continent’s forests and mountains. They have even colonized cities like Los Angeles, and are now found over most of North America.

  • coyote females use dens to birth in
  • coyotes travel in groups or packs
  • coyotes are Omnivores
  • coyotes are very good swimmers

These adaptable animals will eat almost anything. They hunt rabbits, rodents, fish, frogs, and even deer. They also happily dine on insects, snakes, fruit, grass, and carrion. Because they sometimes kill lambs, calves, or other livestock, as well as pets, many ranchers and farmers regard them as destructive pests.

Coyotes are formidable in the field where they enjoy keen vision and a strong sense of smell. They can run up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) an hour. In the fall and winter, they form packs for more effective hunting.

Scientific Information: Scientific name Canis latrans


River otters, members of the weasel family, hunt at night and feed on whatever might be available. Fish are a favorite food, but they also eat amphibians, turtles, and crayfish.

Some of the things that tell us bats are mammals:

  • otters are carnivors
  • otters can weight 11 to a whopping 30 pounds
  • otters can swim 7-10 miles per hour
  • otters leave their moms at 8 only months old

On land, river otters can bound and run quite well, if not quite as effectively as they swim. They love to playfully slide down snow-covered, icy, or muddy hills—often ending with a splash in the water. Otter families of mother and children can be seen enjoying such fun, which also teaches survival skills.

Otters are natural swimmers and, with parental supervision, they soon get the hang of it.

Scientific Information: Lontra canadensis


The common porcupine is a solitary animal, although it may den with other porcupines in the winter. It makes its den in caves, decaying logs and hollow trees. The common porcupine doesn’t hibernate, but it may stay in its den during bad weather. The common porcupine is a good swimmer, its hollow quills help keep it afloat. It is also an excellent tree-climber and spends much of its time in trees.

  • porcupines are herbivores
  • porcupines only have 1 baby
  • porcupines are mostly nocturnal

The porcupine is a rodent. It has black to brownish-yellow fur and strong, short legs. It has hairless soles on its feet that help it climb trees. It has a round body, small ears and a small head. The most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. A porcupine may have as many as 30,000 quills. The quills are hairs with barbed tips on the ends. Quills are solid at the tip and base and hollow for most of the shaft. The porcupine has quills on all parts of its body, except for its stomach. The longest quills are on its rump. The shortest quills are on its cheeks.

Scientific Information: Erethizon dorsatum couesi


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