The Natural Stuff Collection

Jonathan McGowan's Natural History Collections

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25b159 viewsThe wildcat had eaten four wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), Two short tailed voles (Microtus arvalis), part of a rat (Rattus norvegicus) and a song thrush (Turdus philomelos).
26163 viewsA female road kill grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was pregnant with four kits. Here are her internal organs, the liver, spleen and one kidney, covered in healthy fat
26a173 viewsTwo of the kits have been taken out of the uterus while two are still in there.
26b160 viewsThis is a close up of the foetus within its liquid.
27154 viewsCommon buzzards (Buteo buteo ) eat a lot of reptiles and on skinning one I saw the head of a slow worm (Anguis fragilis) peering out of the stomach.
28150 viewsOn taking it out I also found two common lizards (Zoocoma vivipera) with young just before they were to be born.
29153 viewsHere is a female common lizard with the young spilling out of her body. I believe that the young emerged while she was in the warm stomach of the buzzard.
30156 viewsThe second female common lizard had young but was a few days away from being born. They are still enveloped in the egg membrane which they are born with and then they emerge from that. In warmer parts of Europe this species lays the egg and the young develop as do most other species of egg laying lizards.
31152 viewsInside another buzzard was a blackbird (Turdus merula).
32157 viewsA road killed smooth snake (coronella austriaca) has a common lizard in its stomach. This snake is rare in the UK and confines to central southern counties. Here in my area of Dorset it is common and I regularly find them (see diary)
33170 viewsThe red legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) is a good eating bird, andis reared in game units. I regularly find them as road kill. Here I have dislodged the skin revealing the crop that is full of herbage. The flesh is pink and delicate.
34161 viewsThis is the gizzard of the partridge. Birds that eat a lot of greenery need them. The birds swallow small hard objects usually in the form of small stones. These stay inside the gizzard and grind down the vegetation. Birds do not posses teeth and so cannot chew to release the nutrients from plant material, so the gizzard is used for this job. One can see small grit inside. The yellow fat is normal and healthy in this type of bird.
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