Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Skulls and teeth: heaven!

Last night's Mammalogy class was all about teeth.  The lab -- oh sweet delight! -- included viewing A Life With Skulls, a documentary about Ray Bandar, San Francisco native and lifelong skull collector, and examining a number of skulls including beaver, porcupine, black and kodiac bears, raccoon, fox, horse and wolverine. The hand-outs alone make me want to jump around, let alone the fun of reading dental formulae for what they tell us about the animal's world.  Utterly amazing. Why I didn't take pictures is beyond me!

I am so happy to be in this class, delighted about the field trip on Friday to the Extreme Mammals exhibit at the Academy of Sciences.  How great to *have* to go, to be guided, to be able to stand in that exhibit and benefit from the lecture.  Again, so happy to be in this class!

There is something so exhilarating about learning new material, absorbing new info about a subject I'm passionate about.  Just this weekend while reading the textbook assignment, I was so inspired by the elegance of evolution, so sorry for those who deny its existence and thereby lose the opportunity to marvel at adaptation in all its forms.   

For anybody local who might be interested, I think I'm attending this lecture tomorrow night on coexisting with coyotes, to replace a field trip I'll miss in October.   I heard coyotes this morning, close by, while in the woods, which always give me a small shiver, makes me check in with Jasper, ensure that he's within relatively close reach.  How great to learn more about them.  Yeah, OK, maybe I am interested in extra credit points, but mostly my inner Hermione just drives me on: learning for the sake of learning is a beautiful thing.

So happy!

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