Canada - Discover Quйbec natural parks

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The thickness of the hair is an evolutionary development in lieu of layers of subcutaneous fat. Most marine mammals have thick fat layers to keep them warm in the cold waters. Hair is all the otters have, and this is part of why they were so susceptible during the oil spill in Prince William Sound: the fur, matted with oil, lost its insulating capabilities and the oiled otters literally froze to death. Even when it’s working well, the thick fur has some drawbacks. A sea otter has a metabolic rate two times higher than most animals its size, so the body is working overtime to maintain its core temperature.

Sand pipers, plovers, several types of gulls and ducks, ravens and more swoop down at low tide to feed on blue bay mussels, steamer clams, wrinkled whelk, file dogwinkle, sea urchins and even the occasional starfish left high and dry by the receding waters. Even if you’re not a birder, it’s useful to have a field guide for the trip. When that barred owl swoops your car, you’re going to wonder what it is. Other Beasts n 35 n Other Beasts Guess what? Once you’re in the North, you’re quite a few steps further down the food chain than you’re used to being.

Wear long-sleeved clothing, and tuck the cuffs of your pants into your socks. Try to camp where there is a breeze – a wind of five mph will keep the mosquitoes away. In your RV, camper or tent, make sure the screens are made of the smallest netting money can buy. In hotels, check the window screens before opening the window. Mosquito coils are popular, but they’re not going to work outside of an enclosed area, and who knows what that smoke is doing to you? Where the mosquitoes leave off, the no-see-ums start in.

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