RE: NANFA-- Re: snapping turtles

Jay DeLong (
Wed, 6 Sep 2000 17:09:19 -0700

> BG are you sure you just don't want to admit your favorite dinner
> might eat carrion?

I don't know that someone who has a recipe for possum pie would have that

(Just kidding-- I'd eat a opossum if BG and Bessie cooked it.)

Michael, BG, all-- to change the subject a bit, if you don't have it you
should find a copy of the book Flattened Fauna by Roger M. Knutson. This is
a hilarious small (88 pages) book with descriptions of animal behaviors
around roads, and sillhouette-type drawings of various squished animals and
how to identify them. I remembered a passage in the introduction where he
wrote about how road kill is a 20th century occurrence and speculated on
pre-20th century road-kills:

The Road as Habitat
Compared to most places where we expect to see animals, the road is unusual
habitat. Most animal habitats (forests, marshes, prairies, and sand dunes)
have been part of the natural world for millions of years; the creatures
that live in those places have developed precise adaptations to their
particular niches. But road fauna when alive, exists ("live" is too strong a
word) in a habitat that is almost unique to the twentieth century. An
occasional prairie dog (Gynomys ludivicianus) may have worked its way into
the soil of the Oregon Trail under the wheels of the Conestoga wagons of the
nineteenth century. A reliable 1897 report** from North Dakota gives
evidence of at least one large snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
flattened under the steel-rimmed wheels of several loaded wagons.

**The snapping turtle report is a personal communication from John Tjostem,
a colleague, who was citing his grandmother's diary.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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