By Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, 2018
For our Lathrop creatures, it’s good to have babies as soon in the new year as possible, so the babies can grow big and strong during the summer. But problem: if a baby is born now, how do you keep it warm and fed in a Massachusetts winter? Some of our Lathrop creatures have to wait for warmer weather, but some have solved the problem and are having their babies right now.
Our birds have to wait for warmer weather so they can keep the eggs and chicks warm in a mud-and-grass nest. Frogs don’t have to care for their young, but they can’t hop to a pond, mate, and lay eggs until the water, and their own bodies, warm up in spring. Continue reading January Babies
by Barbara Walvoord
First published in Lathrop Lamp Post August 17, 2017
This fawn, recently photographed by resident Doris Atkinson on the east campus, is moving about with its mother, still nursing, but learning, among other things, the communication skills it will need as an adult.
Communication began at birth in May. A loud bleat meant “Mom, where are you?” and a soft nursing murmur meant, “Mmm, this is good.” By lying perfectly still, and having almost no body odor, our spotted fawn communicated to our coyotes and bobcats, “Fawn? What fawn? There’s nobody here–just dappled shade.”
But now that our fawn is up and about, it must learn to communicate within a complex social unit consisting of related females, their fawns and yearlings, and adult males, all of which have contiguous or Continue reading Lathrop’s Deer: A Complex Society