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Features (Creature Feature)

We’ll know by spring

Elk could once again roam the forests of western Maryland — unless citizens say no way in a survey beginning next month.
    Elk are big. Females reach 500 pounds; males, which grow the towering antlers, get up to 700 pounds. They’re herbivores, but it takes a large range to feed the appetites of creatures so big. Thus farmers worry about their crops.
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Grass beds survived storm to welcome waterfowl, Bay babies

Housing stock is on the rise for the young fish and crabs who’ll be sheltering at the top of the Bay come spring. The vast grass-filled Susquehanna Flats, the circular area where the Susquehanna River meets the Bay, appeared unexpectedly healthy in aerial survey images made late last year.
    The valuable Bay habitats seem to have survived fall 2011’s deluge of runoff and sediment.
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Bird artists flock to 2012 competition

Duck stamps have been preserving marsh and wetlands for waterfowl since the Great Depression, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal Duck Stamp program to support the purchase of land for national wildlife refuges.
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A Hound’s Jolly Humbug!

As I decked the halls with boughs of holly

I put a Santa hat on this dog to be jolly.

When down to the dog park we went to play,

The strangest things my dog had to say!
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Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R....

Hang a gift on the National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree

Grateful for the wild things that enrich your world? Choose a wild gift from the Animal Enrichment Wish List to hang on the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree.
    Speaking for the animals, zookeepers and researchers have asked for toenail clippers, bubble machines, natural-colored feather dusters and shower radios with CD players.
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What to call a giant octopus?

The National Zoo’s new giant Pacific octopus will pick its own name, but suggestions from local kids are welcome. The zoo asks invertebrate enthusiasts ages five to 15 to submit their favorite name for the rapidly growing cephalopod.
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Your gift makes room in the inn, warmth in the stable

The Christmas story tells us that animals made the only warmth in the stable where baby Jesus was born. If animals have also warmed your home and your heart, making a gift to the animals may be the right way for you to give back this season.
    Especially because so many animals nowadays lose their warm homes because their owners no longer have the means to afford their pets.
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As temperatures and food supplies drop, mammals hunker down to hibernate

Seen enough of the groundhog, which experts, admirers and detractors alike agree was the Mystery Creature who so fascinated Bay Weekly readers?
    Good thing. Because whatever you call him, her and them — groundhogs, woodchucks or whistle pigs — these omnipresent neighbors are ending their season above ground.
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The saga continues, but the jury is still out

You never know.    
    We never know, either, what’s going to catch your eye, invade your thoughts and, best of all, goad you to action.
    This week it’s the mystery critter.
    Which, you told us, may not be so mysterious after all.
    We have been chuckling at your responses all week.

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