Archive for Animals

How To Skin a Squirrel

Posted in Animals, Cooking, Food, Survival with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2008 by jamesshrugged

The Doberman Pinscher

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by creeprabbit


The Doberman Pinscher is a working class dog, bred to work closely at the side of his owner.  Keeping this in mind, it’s important  to realize that this breed needs interaction and socialization with humans often.  It’s not the type of dog to be tied up in the  backyard.  Not only is this unhealthy, but it will ensure that your dog will remain shy and be unfit for human contact.  Taking  into consideration this breeds classification as a ‘working breed’, it’s obvious that the Doberman is a high energy dog, requiring  daily exercise to keep them fit and happy.  They are known for being determined, fearless, and assertive, however not vicious.  A  vicious dog is never born that way, but trained.

Socializing the puppy from a young age will help a great deal as the pup grows to keep them people oriented.  Keep in mind that  this breed is often targetted under the Breed Specific Legislation, and is unwelcome in some counties.  The bad reputation the  Doberman has acquired it mostly due to the use of them in movies as vicious dogs.  The best example of this is seen in the movie  ‘The Omen’, where the Doberman Pinscher is used as a minion to the antichrist.  Before the movie hype, the Doberman had a  reputation as a military and police working dog, obviously not as a ‘bad guy’.

From this breeds history, the Doberman Pinscher became the classic guard dog that most people see them as today. The Doberman’s  innate protectiveness of their ‘pack’ (i.e. you) helps with this.  This breed is known for always wanting to be phsyically close  to their owners, a trait often listed in their temperment being ‘protective’.  It would take a brave man to come between a  Doberman and his owner.  This is a devoted and watchful breed, and needs an owner that is not afraid to take the lead.

All family members should know how to handle this high energy dog.  Some Dobermans are family dogs, while others preferring to  bond with only one person.  However, as in the case with most dogs, Dobermans will know when their handler is hesitant, and will  attempt to dominate them quickly.  That is simply how a dog pack works.

Doberman Pinschers have many talents including man tracking, watchdogging, guarding, personal protection, police K9 work, military  K9 work, search & rescue, therapy work, competitive obedience and schutzhund.  Schutzhand is the the german term for competitive  working dog competitions.

Saltwater Dangers, FM 21-76

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


11-27. There are several fish that you should not handle, touch, or contact. There are also others that you should not eat. These fish are described below.

11-28. Sharks are the most feared animal in the sea. Usually, shark attacks cannot be avoided and are considered accidents. You should take every precaution to avoid any contact with sharks. There are many shark species, but in general, dangerous sharks have wide mouths and visible teeth, while relatively harmless ones have small mouths on the underside of their heads. However, any shark can inflict painful and often fatal injuries, either through bites or through abrasions from their rough skin.

11-29. Rabbitfish or spinefoot (Siganidae species) live mainly on coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans. They have very sharp, possibly venomous spines in their fins. Handle them with care, if at all. This fish, like many others of the dangerous fish in this section, is considered edible by native peoples where the fish are found, but deaths occur from careless handling. Seek other nonpoisonous fish to eat if possible.

11-30. Tang or surgeonfish (Acanthuridae species) average 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 inches) in length and often are beautifully colored. They are called surgeonfish because of the scalpel-like spines located in the tail. The wounds inflicted by these spines can bring about death through infection, envenomation, and loss of blood, which may incidentally attract sharks.

11-31. Toadfish (Batrachoididae species) live in tropical waters off the Gulf Coast of the United States and along both coasts of Central and South America. These dully-colored fish average 18 to 25 centimeters (7 to 10 inches) in length. They typically bury themselves in the sand to await fish and other prey. They have sharp, very toxic spines along their backs.

11-32. Poisonous scorpion fish or zebra fish (Scorpaenidae species) are mostly around reefs in the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans and occasionally in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. They average 30 to 75 centimeters (12 to 29 inches) in length. Their coloration is highly variable, from reddish brown to almost purple or brownish yellow. They have long, wavy fins and spines and their sting is intensely painful. Less poisonous relatives live in the Atlantic Ocean.

11-33. Stonefish (Synanceja species) are in the Pacific and Indian oceans. They can inject a painful venom from their dorsal spines when stepped on or handled carelessly. They are almost impossible to see because of their lumpy shape and drab colors. They range in size up to 40 centimeters (16 inches).

11-34. Weever fish (Trachinidae species) average 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. They are hard to see as they lie buried in the sand off the coasts of Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean. Their color is usually a dull brown. They have venomous spines on the back and gills.

NOTE: Appendix F provides more details on these venomous fish and toxic mollusks.

11-35. The livers of polar bears are considered toxic due to high concentrations of vitamin A. There is a chance of death after eating this organ. Another toxic meat is the flesh of the hawksbill turtle. These animals are distinguished by a down-turned bill and yellow polka dots on their neck and front flippers. They weigh more than 275 kilograms (605 pounds) and are unlikely to be captured.

11-36. Many fish living in lagoons, estuaries, or reefs near shore are poisonous to eat, though some are only seasonally dangerous. Although the majority are tropical fish; be wary of eating any unidentifiable fish wherever you are. Some predatory fish, such as barracuda and snapper, may become toxic if the fish they feed on in shallow waters are poisonous. The most poisonous types appear to have parrotlike beaks and hard shell-like skins with spines and can often inflate their bodies like balloons. However, at certain times of the year, indigenous populations consider the puffer a delicacy.

11-37. The blowfish or puffer (Tetraodontidae species) are more tolerant of cold water. They live along tropical and temperate coasts worldwide, even in some of the rivers of Southeast Asia and Africa. Stout-bodied and round, many of these fish have short spines and can inflate themselves into a ball when alarmed or agitated. Their blood, liver, and gonads are so toxic that as little as 28 milligrams (1 ounce) can be fatal. These fish vary in color and size, growing up to 75 centimeters (29 inches) in length.

11-38. The triggerfish (Balistidae species) occur in great variety, mostly in tropical seas. They are deep-bodied and compressed, resembling a seagoing pancake up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) in length, with large and sharp dorsal spines. Avoid them all, as many have poisonous flesh.

11-39. Although most people avoid them because of their ferocity, they occasionally eat barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda). These predators of mostly tropical seas can reach almost 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length and have attacked humans without provocation. They occasionally carry the poison ciguatera in their flesh, making them deadly if consumed.


11-40. The blue-ringed octopus, jellyfish, and the cone and auger shells are other dangerous sea creatures. Therefore, you should always be alert and move carefully in any body of water.

11-41. Most octopi are excellent when properly prepared. However, the blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) can inflict a deadly bite from its parrotlike beak. Fortunately, it is restricted to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and is very small. It is easily recognized by its grayish white overall color and irridescent blue rings. Authorities warn that all tropical octopus species should be treated with caution because of their poisonous bites, although their flesh is edible.

11-42. Deaths related to jellyfish are rare, but the sting they inflict is extremely painful. The Portuguese man-of-war resembles a large pink or purple balloon floating on the sea. It has poisonous tentacles hanging up to 12 meters (40 feet) below its body. The huge tentacles are actually colonies of stinging cells. Most known deaths from jellyfish are attributed to the man-of-war. Other jellyfish can inflict very painful stings as well. Avoid the long tentacles of any jellyfish, even those washed up on the beach and apparently dead.

11-43. The subtropical and tropical cone shells (Conidae species) have a venomous harpoonlike barb. All have a fine netlike pattern on the shell. A membrane may possibly obscure this coloration. There are some very poisonous cone shells, even some lethal ones in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Avoid any shell shaped like an ice cream cone.

11-44. The auger shell or terebra (Terebridae species) are much longer and thinner than the cone shells, but can be nearly as deadly. They are found in temperate and tropical seas. Those in the Indian and Pacific oceans have a more toxic venom in their stinging barb. Do not eat these snails, as their flesh may be poisonous.

Dangers in Bays and Estuaries, FM 21-76

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


11-25. In areas where seas and rivers come together, there are dangers associated with both freshwater and saltwater. In shallow saltwaters, there are many creatures that can inflict pain and cause infection to develop. Stepping on sea urchins, for example, can produce pain and infection. When moving about in shallow water, wear some form of footgear and shuffle your feet along the bottom, rather than picking up your feet and stepping.

11-26. Stingrays (Dasyatidae species) are a real hazard in shallow waters, especially tropical waters. The type of bottom appears to be irrelevant. There is a great variance between species, but all have a sharp spike in their tail that may be venomous and can cause extremely painful wounds if stepped on. All rays have a typical shape that resembles a kite. You find them along the coasts of the Americas, Africa, and Australia.

Dangers In Rivers, FM 21-76

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


11-20. Common sense will tell you to avoid confrontations with hippopotami, alligators, crocodiles, and other large river creatures. However, there are also the following smaller river creatures with which you should be cautious.

11-21. Electric eels (Electrophorus electricus) may reach 2 meters (7 feet) in length and 20 centimeters (8 inches) in diameter. Avoid them. They are capable of generating up to 500 volts of electricity in certain organs of their body. They use this shock to stun prey and enemies. Normally, you find these eels in the Orinoco and Amazon River systems in South America. They seem to prefer shallow waters that are more highly oxygenated and provide more food. They are bulkier than American eels. Their upper body is dark gray or black with a lighter-colored underbelly.

11-22. Piranhas (Serrasalmo species) are another hazard of the Orinoco and Amazon River systems, as well as the Paraguay River Basin, where they are native. These fish vary greatly in size and coloration, but usually have a combination of orange undersides and dark tops. They have white, razor-sharp teeth that are clearly visible. They may be as long as 50 centimeters (20 inches). Use great care when crossing waters where they live. Blood attracts them. They are most dangerous in shallow waters during the dry season.

11-23. Be careful when handling and capturing large freshwater turtles, such as the snapping turtles and soft-shelled turtles of North America and the matamata and other turtles of South America. All of these turtles will bite in self-defense and can amputate fingers and toes.

11-24. The platypus or duckbill (Ornithorhyncus anatinus) is the only member of its family and is easily recognized. It has a long body covered with grayish, short hair, a tail like a beaver, and a bill like a duck. Growing up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) in length, it may appear to be a good food source, but this egg-laying mammal, the only one in the world, is very dangerous. The male has a poisonous spur on each hind foot that can inflict intensely painful wounds. You find the platypus only in Australia, mainly along mud banks on waterways.

Dangerous Lizards, FM 21-76

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


11-17. The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectrum) of the American Southwest and Mexico is a dangerous and poisonous lizard with dark, highly textured skin marked by pinkish mottling. It is typically 35 to 45 centimeters (14 to 18 inches) in length and has a thick, stumpy tail. The Gila monster is unlikely to bite unless molested but has a poisonous bite.

11-18. The Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) resembles its relative, the Gila monster. However, it has more uniform spots rather than bands of color. It also is poisonous and has a docile nature. You may find it from Mexico to Central America.

11-19. The komodo dragon is a giant lizard (Varanus komodoensis) that grows to more than 3 meters (10 feet) in length. It can be dangerous if you try to capture it. This Indonesian lizard can weigh more than 135 kilograms (300 pounds).

Venomous Snakes, FM 21-76

Posted in Animals, Survival with tags , on November 23, 2007 by jamesshrugged


11-14. There are no infallible rules for expedient identification of venomous snakes in the field, because the guidelines all require close observation or manipulation of the snake’s body. The best strategy is to leave all snakes alone. Where snakes are plentiful and venomous species are present, the risk of their bites negates their food value. Apply the following safety rules when traveling in areas where there are venomous snakes:

  • Walk carefully and watch where you step. Step onto logs rather than over them in a survival situation. During evasion, always step over or go around logs to leave fewer signs for trackers.
  • Look closely when picking fruit or moving around water.
  • Do not tease, molest, or harass snakes. Snakes cannot close their eyes. Therefore, you cannot tell if they are asleep. Some snakes, such as mambas, cobras, and bushmasters, will attack aggressively when cornered or guarding a nest.
  • Use sticks to turn logs and rocks.
  • Wear proper footgear, particularly at night.
  • Carefully check bedding, shelter, and clothing.
  • Be calm when you encounter serpents. Snakes cannot hear and you can occasionally surprise them when they are sleeping or sunning. Normally, they will flee if given the opportunity.
  • Use extreme care if you must kill snakes for food or safety. Although it is not common, warm, sleeping human bodies occasionally attract snakes.

11-15. Appendix E provides detailed descriptions of the snakes listed in Figure 11-1.

The Americas

  • American Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
  • Bushmaster (Lachesis muta)
  • Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius)
  • Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
  • Fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox)
  • Rattlesnake (Crotalus species)


  • Common adder (Vipers berus)
  • Pallas’ viper (Agkistrodon halys)

Africa and Asia

  • Boomslang (Dispholidus typus)
  • Cobra (Naja species)

Figure 11-1. Venomous Snakes of the World

Africa and Asia (Continued)

  • Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica)
  • Green tree pit viper (Trimeresurus gramineus)
  • Habu pit viper (Trimeresurus flavoviridis)
  • Krait (Bungarus caeruleus)
  • Malayan pit viper (Callaselasma rhodostoma)
  • Mamba (Dendraspis species)
  • Puff adder (Bitis arietans)
  • Rhinoceros viper (Bitis nasicornis)
  • Russell’s viper (Vipera russellii)
  • Sand viper (Cerastes vipera)
  • Saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus)
  • Wagler’s pit viper (Trimeresurus wagleri)


  • Death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus)
  • Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)
  • Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)
  • Yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platurus)

Figure 11-1. Venomous Snakes of the World (Continued)


11-16. The polar regions are free of snakes due to their inhospitable environments. Other areas considered to be free of venomous snakes are New Zealand, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Polynesia, and Hawaii.

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