The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: Desert Tortoise

Scientific Name: (Gopherus agassizii) Year Listed on the Endangered Species List: 1980 Endangered Species Listing Status: Threatened Conservation Efforts and Partners: In March 2009, the San Diego Zoo Institute for … Continue reading

February 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

What is the Endangered Species Act?

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973. On December 28th of that year, President Richard Nixon signed … Continue reading

February 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Sun Bear

Scientific Name:  Helarctos malayanus  Helarctos is Greek for “sun” and “bear”.  Malayanus is Latin and refers to “located in Malaysia.” Where Sun Bears Live:    Sun bears live in mainland Southeast … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

Evolutionary Bears: Giants and Cave Dwellers

The earliest bear was about the size of a fox terrier dog and is known as the “Dawn Bear” (Ursavus elemensis) and its remains were found in subtropical Europe.  By … Continue reading

January 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

American Black Bear

Scientific Name:  Ursus americanus. Ursus is Latin for “bear.”  Americanus is Latin for “American.” Where American Black Bears Live:    Black bears live in most of North America from Alaska, across … Continue reading

January 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Sloth Bear

Scientific Name:  Melursus ursinus Melursus means “dark (hair) honey bear.”  Ursinus is Latin for “bear.” Where Sloth Bears Live:    Throughout India, Sri Lanka, and further north into Bangladesh, Nepal, and … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Bears in Entertainment

In 2002, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service seized six polar bears in Puerto Rico that were owned by the Suarez Brothers Circus, a circus based in Mexico. The … Continue reading

January 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Polar Bear

Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus Ursus is from Latin ursinus “of or resembling a bear”. Maritimus is from Latin maritimus “of the sea or near the sea”. Where Polar Bears Live: … Continue reading

January 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

Brown Bear

Scientific Name: Ursus arctos Ursus is Latin for “bear”; arctos comes from Greek arktos, meaning bear.  The double meaning here may suggest that brown bears are the archetypal bear. There … Continue reading

January 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

The International Trade in Bear Parts and Bear Bile

As you are reading this, there are an estimated 12,000-20,000 bears confined to tiny cages throughout Asia, primarily in China, Malaysia and Thailand. These bears are victim to the barbaric … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · 3 Comments

Asiatic Black Bear

Scientific Name: Ursus thibetanus Ursus is from Latin ursinus “of or resembling a bear”. Thibetanus is Latin for “located in Tibet”. Where Asiatic Black Bears Live: Fossil remains of the … Continue reading

January 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Giant Panda

Scientific Name:  Ailuropoda melanoleuca “Ailuropoda” means black and white panda foot.  “Melano” means black or darkness of hair.  “Leuca” means white or colorless. Where Giant Pandas Live:  Giant pandas prefer … Continue reading

January 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

How Twin Bear Cubs Influenced My Travel Plans

On December 12, 2012, the National Zoo posted on Facebook that their Andean bear, Billie Jean, was showing signs of labor.  Thanks to web cams, many of us watched nervously … Continue reading

January 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Andean Bear

Scientific Name:  Tremarcto ornatus Tremarctos is a combination of Latin words that translate to “tremendous bear”.  Ornatus is in reference to the ornate design on face and around the eyes like … Continue reading

January 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Bear Evolution 101

I am beginning Bear Month at The Whisker Chronicles with a fairly technical blog in order to elaborate on how very long bears have existed. There are now only a … Continue reading

January 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Day Twelve of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Moose

Scientific Name:  Alces alces is the Eurasian moose.  Alces americanus is the American moose.

December 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

Day Eleven of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Walrus

Scientific Name:  Odobenus rosmarus Odobenus rosmarus is Latin for “tooth-walking sea-horse”.  Walruses use their tusks to haul out onto pack ice and it looks like they are walking on their … Continue reading

December 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

Day Ten of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Arctic Fox

Scientific Name:  Vulpes lagopus Vulpes is from the Latin vulpinus which means “of or pertaining to a fox”.

December 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Day Nine of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Beluga Whale

Scientific Name:  Delphinapterus leucas The word beluga comes from the Russian word “bielo” meaning white. Beluga whales are actually born dark gray and are not white for up to eight … Continue reading

December 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

Day Eight of Twelve Days of Arctic Animals: Wolverine

Scientific Name: Gulo gulo “Gulo” is Latin for glutton and French for gullet or throat.

December 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Sacred Place Where Life Begins (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

In the developed world, we are accustomed to grocery stores, drive-through windows and internet access providing instant gratification and an abundance of resources at our beck and call.  Modern conveniences are fantastic … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Another Perspective on Sea World, Orcas and Captive Animals (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

By Maymie Higgins The movie Blackfish is set to be released on DVD on Tuesday, November 12.  As much debate as the CNN airings and film festival

December 14, 2013 · 6 Comments

The American Wild Turkey (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

November 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

$53 Billion of Organic Pest Control is not Spooky (Written for the Ecotone Exchange)

My street is a typical rural North Carolina subdivision with ecological features that influenced my home purchase.  The narrow road

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

Home on the Range, Where Antelope Still Play (Written for The Ecotone Exchange)

November 19, 2013 · Leave a comment