After @maverick-ornithography remarked on the unusual appearance of the shopping cart I saw the other day, I decided to check at various stores to understand whether this was an isolated phenomenon. Here are the results.

Tesco : has both regular shopping carts (large, low basket, with a child seat) and “leggy” ones (small basket, long and strangely balanced legs, no child seat). Pictures of both varieties below.

In the background of both pictures, you can see a vehicle carrying exclusively “leggy” carts (I didn’t take a closer picture because I wasn’t sure I was allowed to).

Lidl : same situation, with both regular and “leggy” carts, except that here, the relation between cart types is clearer (the regular type still looks strangely balanced to me, and the leg structure is similar). Pictures :

Dealz : only leggy carts ! The variety is yet a different one, and the only cart type with a drawer system for coins I saw today (the others have a slit system). Here is a picture :

This allows me to confirm that the overturned cart in the ditch thing is indeed a Lidl “leggy” cart, like the one I saw on the road close to it (notice the shape of the legs) :

To conclude this long post, I saw the heron and the egret again !

(A grey heron and a little egret standing in some kind of evergreen, 1 m or less from each other, the heron facing the camera and the egret facing right.)

This is the tree where I saw the heron the other day ; I was already surprised to see the egret in it, and I didn’t expect the heron to be that close, so I completely missed it until it moved its head.

(Same image, but with the heron facing right and the egret running its beak under its wing.)

The egret started preening, so I assumed it wasn’t particularly uncomfortable despite the proximity of the heron, but it might not mean that at all (I would be interested if anyone knows what might have been going on, I was surprised because most grey herons I have seen seemed very territorial).


Get to know me again: one/? female characters ▷ Cristina Yang
“Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.”


Alone is what I have. Alone protects me.

- “No, friends protect people.”


Art summary of 2016: my style stagnated for most of the year, mostly because I was quite busy with school and life, and I only began to improve a little bit near the end of the year. My goal for next year is to learn more about colours, since right now I’m just picking randomly from the colour wheel purely based on what I’m feeling at the moment.

Cheers! Thank you all so much for your support, and I sincerely hope you have a really great New Year. :)

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anonymous asked:

Hey, would you happen to have any tips on telling adult skulls from juvenile skulls? Sometimes I'll find a skull from a species I've never found before, but they just seem so impossibly small...! It's super hard to find photo refs that show the size... Are there any general features that can show age? Huge eye sockets, tricks with teeth, etc...?

Hi there!

There are a few things to look for when trying to tell what age an animal was by its skull.

Skulls are made up of many different bones and the lines where those different bone plates connect are called sutures. As an animal ages those sutures begin to fuse together and in some cases in very old animals they will completely disappear. In young animals though those plates are very noticeable. 

Here are a few comparisons between juvenile and adult skulls of some common species.

Opossums are unlike many other mammals and the sutures of their skulls never completely fuse together.

Here are four Carolina Dogs ranging from approximately six months old to around ten years old.

Note how the suture lines begin to fuse together as the animals mature. In the Senior dog on the bottom right they have practically disappeared.

Domestic Cats: Kitten, Adult, & Senior

Goats: Juvenile, Young Adult, and Senior. Note the completely fused sutures in the senior goat skull on the far right.

Like humans, all baby mammals have deciduous aka milk aka baby teeth that are shed as the adult teeth begin to erupt. In some cases you can even see the adult teeth erupting from under the milk teeth. This baby bobcat has both baby and adult canine teeth present, giving it the appearance of double fangs.

Those baby teeth are usually hollow/have undeveloped roots. Adult teeth are hollow too until the animal matures and the root of the tooth fills in and becomes solid.

Here are adult vs. juvenile teeth in Red Foxes:

and Raccoons:

The rearmost molars are usually the last teeth to finish erupting. Here’s a young standard size horse foal’s teeth (left) compared to a 17 year old mini horse’s teeth (right). Note the foal’s rearmost molars still encased in bone. An older animal’s teeth will also show signs of wear. Enamel loss and discoloration, points worn down smooth, and decay are all signs of age.

Teeth yet to erupt in a young feral hog’s skull.

So the main things to look for when trying to age a skull are suture lines and teeth. Size is helpful too but some animals like raccoons have skulls that come in an incredible variety of shapes and sizes so sutures and teeth are really your best tell when gaging age. Bones and skulls from juvenile animals are also typically very lightweight, fragile, and porous. Sometimes the bone of the skull of a juvenile animal will be paper-thin. Often when they are being processed and cleaned juvenile animal skulls will completely fall apart at the suture lines and have to be rebuilt.

Hope that helps, Anon! Happy collecting!