Cape Cod: critters
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  • Too Many Seals, Not Enough Sharks
    The growing seal population on the Cape will be an ever increasing problem into the future. As a commercial…
  • Blackfish Invasions
    Blackfish up to twenty feet long frequently ground themselves on Cape Cod beaches. There are many theories as to why they beach themselves in this manner.
  • Common Large Whales of New England
    Whale watching is a very popular activity on Cape Cod. Whale watch excursions run regularly from Barnstable Harbor, Provincetown and Plymouth. Here is a list of the large whales most often seen in Cape…
  • Real Bores!
    This is a little dissertation on one of Cape Cod’s clams worst foes the snail, more particularly the kind called the boring snail or whelk.…
  • Sperm Whales
    Back in the days of whaling, the sperm whale yielded the finest and most valuable oil. The sperm whale, a toothed whale, has teeth, but only in the lower jaw.
  • Not A Clam At All
    Everyone who has strolled on a Cape Cod beach for any distance has seen the long, black shells which so-called razor clams once occupied. The shells are usually paired, so that they can be closed together,…
  • Barnacle Bill The Sailor
    The hero of the popular song by that title is entirely a myth, but barnacles are no myth. Anyone who has ever tried to scrape them from the bottom of a boat knows they are a very stubborn fact.
  • Fall Butterflies
    The great southward migration of the monarch butterfly along the dunes in September and October is the butterfly event of the year on Cape Cod.
  • Who? Who? Hoo!
    Every once in a while these parts are visited by a rarely seen bird—the white Arctic owl. His coming is regarded, by those who know the signs, as a sure token of a hard, cold winter.
  • Fish Out Of Water
    Fishermen of Cape Cod occasionally bring in to port more than the fish in their holds. In the fall of 1963, the dragger Frances Elizabeth, of Provincetown, reached port with a deer she had “caught”…
  • When A Lobster Does The Split
    The way a lobster fights to get out of its shell in June and August never fails to arouse wonder. By thrashing about and going into contortions of a lobster type, the creature splits its old shell all…
  • Doggone Dogfish!
    Every year, when Cape Cod anglers find the fishing at its most exciting and resultful best, sure as fate the worst pest they know, unless it’s the skate, is sure to show up in the water and spoil…
  • The Coming of the Peepers
    Ask any Cape Codder about peepers. He will probably inform you that they are “little frogs that come to life” early each spring — even as early as the first week of March and herald…
  • Little Lines About Large Lobsters
    One of Cape Cod’s most succulent dishes is “boiled live lobster.” The lobster is not only good eating, but despite his homely, even ugly form, is quite an interesting creature.
  • A Whale’s Tail
    The only way a man can get ahead in life is to use his head, but not so with a whale. A whale’s tail, unlike the vertical tail of a fish is horizontal.
  • Tommy Cod Houses
    An early August stroller on Cape Cod’s beaches will stoop down, and with a puzzled look, see near the tide line, a sand ring, shaped like a small stand-up collar, like those worn by grandpa in…
  • Dashing Cape Robbers
    One of the Cape’s most handsome birds is a robber. With a flash of blue through the air and a swift swoop upon his “prey,” this fellow gets what he is after.
  • Wild Animals on Cape Cod
    In 1713, the town of Eastham, much vexed by the depredations of wolves, foxes, and deer, voted that “Three pounds bounty be paid in addition to what is allowed by the Province Law for every head…
  • Wolves, Fifteen Shillings Each
    Wolves were a problem in the early days of Cape Cod. Several of the towns paid a bounty for each wolf killed. In 1658 the Town of Sandwich voted that the Indians were to be paid 15 shillings for every…
  • The Beast of Truro
    I remember the story about the “Beast of Truro”. In September of 1981 several pet cats were found slaughtered and rumors were flying that a panther or mountain lion was responsible for the…
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