Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Odin to a Bobcat

He gave the orb of an eye to Mimir's Well,
and in return sound counsel bequeathed.
            My own eye watched,
            wrought of glass and wire,
Upon the bark of Yggdrasil it waited in steel sheathed.
On the path through the wood this avatar did tread.
The wanderer, Asgardian, the Allfather
            filled Midgard with dread,
yet this forest deity I did bother,
and now too I must search for an answer.

            Thank you for indulging my amateur attempt at the ode form of poetry. Also, please excuse the terrible pun titling this post.
            So you are probably asking, what is all the theatrics for? Well, at my new temporary playground in the Midwest, I have gotten an interesting set of pictures on my camera trap. Not too long ago, a one-eyed bobcat (Lynx rufus) made his way by my camera trap, and considering my the gadget had only been up two weeks, I was pretty ecstatic to see it! In my past experience, such camera-trap captures are infrequent to say the least.

            Bobcats are nothing new in North America. The oldest fossil they have of a bobcat ancestor is from 2.4-2.5 million years ago (Anderson & Lovallo, 2003). Even though the current distribution of the bobcat spans from coast to coast and from Canada down to Mexico, they have restricted ranges in certain states.
            Now I am not sure if the Odin bobcat I got a picture of is big or small, young or old. My guess is he is a male, though, and that arises from the fact it is breeding season, and females move significantly less than males (see Anderson & Lovallo, 2003). Either Odin has seen some battles and has successfully protected his territory from other cats, or he is down on his luck and has been fended off by some bigger males.
            It is also quite possible that I got pictures of two different cats. The photograph from the 24th looks a little more husky and large, yet when they are both nearest to the stem in the center they are around the same height. The individual from the 31st seems to have more spots on his legs. It's plausible that they are two different individuals. In terms of movement, adult bobcats can move over 2 km in a day (with a home range around 40 km^2 depending on region; see Anderson & Lovallo, 2003). When it comes to younger cats dispersing, it is not too uncommon for individuals to move more than a couple hundred kilometers in search of adequate habitat.

            Either way, it is a neat series of pictures. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Works Cited
            Anderson, E.M. & M.J. Lovallo. 'Bobcat and Lynx'. In Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. Edited by G.A. Feldhamer, B.C. Thompson, and J.A. Chapman. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD: pp 758-788.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! A one-eye bobcat? What a great catch!

    A quick view of the pictures would suggest they *could* be the same one, based on size. But, it's pretty hard to tell.....I don't think I'm willing to call it one way or another.....