Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.

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Virginia Carper

Virginia Carper

Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Giganotosaurus: Be Spectacular

Discovered in 1993, Giganotosaurus gave notice to the world of the huge South American dinosaurs. Because of this continent’s isolation, the dinosaurs there grew to tremendous sizes. At 45 feet (14 meters), Giganotosaurus displaced Tyrannosaurus rex as the largest meat-eater of the dinosaurs. (Later Spinosaurus supplanted them both.) At 9 tons, Giganotosaurus had to be big for She hunted 90 ton Argentinosaurus, the largest land animal ever found (so far).

As one of the Shark-teeth Dinosaurs (Carcharodontosauridae), Giganotosaurus had serrated teeth. They were thin, sharp with jagged edges similar to shark teeth. (In contrast, T. rex had blunt rounded teeth.) With her jaws, Giganotosaurus could manipulate her mouth to act like a pair of scissors. Instead of chomping through bones, She would slice through muscles and flesh. By doing that, She would weaken Argentinosaurus until He collapsed from blood loss.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Squirrels: My Writing Muse

Whenever I am blocked in my writing, I watch squirrels. I see them bouncing from tree to tree or chasing each other. At other times, one squirrel will dig up a nut that another had just buried. Once I witnessed a lone squirrel sneaking up on a curbside vendor to steal a nut-bar from her truck. Before the hapless vendor could react, this crafty squirrel leapt off the countertop and scampered off with its prize.

Squirrels inspire me with their activity. Rarely staying still in one place, they leap from one tree branch, grab another limb, and then jump to the ground. This reminds me of my free writing, when I jump from topic to topic. Working with my squirrel muses, I seldom know where they will take me in my writing or where I will finally end up.

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“The Archangel Guide to the Animal World” by Diana Cooper

In my reviews, I like to feature books that are often overlooked by people interested in animal wisdom. Diana Cooper, a New Age Practitioner, has written about animals from her perspective.

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“All Hands on Pet!” By Susan Davis, PT.

From time to time, I will be doing book reviews of various books concerning animals, not just books about "finding your totem animal."

One way to foster human-animal relations is by caring for pets. As pet “owners,” people want the best for their animals. Physical Therapist Susan Davis tells people how in “All Hands on Pet!,”(a companion to her “Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer.”) Her philosophy in writing this book is to help pets enjoy their lives as much as possible. Her aim is to offer practical insights for the pet owner on how to do that.

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Water Ones: Moving through fluid realms, with intuition

About five hundred million years ago, fish were the first vertebrates to appear on earth. Since that time, they have evolved into one of the most diverse and successful of animal groups. The "lobe-finned" fish, such as the lungfish, can live for brief periods on land. Sharks and rays have no bones, only cartilage, while the bony fish range from sturgeon to trout to seahorses. Eels, the snakes of the water, can slip in and out of small spaces.

The other animals, who live in water, are the anemones, cephalopods, clams, crustaceans, echinoderms (starfish), and jellyfish. Crustaceans live in freshwater, deep oceans, and tidal pools. Their claws and hard shells serve to protect them from predators. The cephalopods, with their tentacles, are known for their inky defenses. Jellyfish float from North Pole to South Pole, seeking food. Anemones have tentacles traps to prey on unsuspecting shrimp. Clams will quickly burrow in the tidal flats with their tube feet. Sea cucumbers put out sticky tentacles to catch food particles that drift by.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Jackalope: Barbed Humor

One of the symbols of the American West, the jackrabbit lives in open areas such as grasslands and deserts. With his strange ears, this hare is one of the animals of the American West that people will often remember.  The biggest, fastest, and flashiest of this Family of Hares is the antelope jackrabbit, who can outrun run everything except the antelope (i.e. pronghorn).

The antelope jackrabbit is the source of jackalope (horned rabbit) legends. One joke that Westerners play on new people is to tell them about the jackalope (a large jackrabbit with deer horns). This legendary animal is often seen by people who have had too much to drink.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE: Defense of Home

Although, they share a common name, the Australian magpie is NOT a relative of the magpie of the Crow Family. The Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) is a relative of the currawong. Found only in Australia, this bird is among one of the most common of local birds there. The Australian magpie tends to live in one place in a large group.

The Australian magpie has a complex social structure. He lives either in a tribe of about two to ten birds or in a flock of many birds. The difference between the two is that a tribe has a breeding territory. Members of his tribe defend their territory from all other magpies. Australian magpies who are members of flocks are usually birds who were unable to join a tribe. These birds do not breed until they join a tribe. When an Australian magpie is about two years old, He is forced out of the territory of his birth tribe and must look for another tribe to join. The only way that an Australian magpie can join a tribe is when another bird leaves.

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