The view of Reflection Canyon is worth the sweat & tears to see it. Utah’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area includes a surreal landscape of the twisting and winding Colorado River through colorful sandstone cliffs. Photo by Brock Slinger. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/13/17.
Hiking To Reflection Canyon
Sunset over Arizona’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Photo by Jeremy Stevens. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 1/24/17.
Right place, right time: Stormy skies over Horseshoe Bend at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Photo by Jeremy Stevens. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 12/2/16.
Meet B327 and B326 – 3 to 4-week-old baby bobcats at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California. The park’s biologists recently ear-tagged these kittens as part of a 20-year-long study of how urbanization has affected bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding area. Biologists have been tracking the mom, B255, since 2010 and tagged her kittens while she was away from the den. The ear tags will help identify the cats in remote camera images. Photo by National Park Service.
These fabulous photo trap photos are from the Facebook page for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
New photos of P-19 and her two nearly-grown kittens, P-32 and P-33, feeding on a deer carcass (WARNING: graphic photos). Kittens normally stay with their mother until they are about one to one and a half years old. One of the siblings, P-34, had already dispersed and it appears that these kittens may have also left their mom since the photos were taken in mid-February.
This is P-19’s second litter and we’ve been tracking all three kittens since they were four weeks old. Since we started studying these animals in 2002, we have not tracked any male mountain lions that have successfully dispersed out of the Santa Monica Mountains. Photos taken via remote camera on the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains, near the L.A. and Ventura County line.
– Ranger Kate
P-33 (female). Interestingly, P-33 came to the kill site first, alone. She fed by herself for about an hour before her mom and brother showed up.
P-33 (female). She looks younger and more fluffy in this photo than the others (or at least that’s my non-scientific observation!).
Sniff, sniff. A little curiosity about the camera by P-32 (male).
Photo bomb by Mom!
P-33 (female). Though she is not wearing a GPS collar in this photo, she was captured in mid-February and outfitted with a special collar for sub-adult lions, which has an automatic drop-off mechanism as the cat grows larger. For some time, our biologists thought that P-33 may not have survived since she was not seen in some of the remote camera photos we picked up of her mom and other siblings. Maybe she was just camera shy, because here she is at age 15 months looking healthy and strong.
That’s Mom in the foreground and P-33 (female) behind her (note the ear tags).
Can you spot all three mountain lions in this photo? In addition to the mom and brother in the foreground, you can make out P-33 lounging and digesting her meal in the background.
In this photo, Mom (P-19) has the mouthful of food on the left and P-32 (male) is on the right. P-32 was just collared in December of 2014 — a collar specially made for sub-adult mountain lions that automatically drops off as they grow larger.
Mountain lion tongues are specially adapted and covered in tiny papillae, which are small, backward curving spines that help remove hair from the hide and scrape meat from the bones. They also help with personal grooming! P-33 (female).
Notice how P-33 turns her head to the side while she bites through the deer hide? She is using her carnassial teeth, which are modified molars and premolars that act as shears to cut through the tough hide and meat. These sharp teeth are excellent at cutting and tearing flesh. Cats do not chew their food, so they actually use these carnassial teeth to tear and cut their meat up into smaller pieces to swallow whole.
P-33 (female) ripping at the skin to get to the meat. Mountain lions feed on deer by entering the abdominal cavity first and eating the insides, such as the liver and the heart.