09Feb2023

From 7pm until 8pm

At Nature Learning Center

What do wild dogs and cats have in common? Besides providing us humans with over 1.2 billion pets (!), most importantly, they are both Mammals! They have fur, are warm-blooded, have digitate toes that support quadripedal activity, and give birth to live young which they feed milk. Beyond that they are distantly related, with both groups belonging to the Order Carnivora for their meat-eating habits, dentition, and reliance on prey species for survival. As ‘meso-predators’ they are critically important to the ecosystem and provide a number of prey population checks, such as controlling the number of mice, rats, and squirrels.

This session on canines and felines will cover the basics of anatomy, morphology & physiology, as well as the adaptive evolution of each group. We will review all 4 species of native canines and 2 species of native felines found in New England through a combination of life history summaries, track diagrams and color slides. The indoor session will prepare us for an optional outdoor 'search-and-find' excursion for these illustrious cousins of our furbearer clan.

Program fee: $5/person or $10/household for non-members; members are free

This program will be in-person with an online option.