Boreal Forest Adaptations: The Northern Algonkians

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Chief among these are whether or not Besant peoples made pottery and the nature of the relationship between Besant and the burial mounds of the Sonota Complex along the Missouri River in northern South Dakota. Although Besant is here classed as Late Prehistoric, the bow one of the defining traits of this period was not in use in the earlier portions of this phase.

See Reeves l for the most recent statement on Besant. No particular function is implied by this term as projectile points , knives and drills may all be bifacially worked. The waves of force are therefore not only directed downward from the hammer, but also reflected back upward from the anvil. Hence the flake may appear to have been struck at both ends. Probably functioned as an atlatl handle or weight see bannerstone. This ancient communal hunting technique was occasionally used in conjunction with a bison pound. Bison occidentalis.

Projectile points of this complex are side- notched and essentially indistinguishable from those from plains environments to the east termed Logan Creek or Simonsen , and from those of the Mummy Cave Complex of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Wyoming.

Associated artifacts include conical and wedge-shaped cores, choppers , oval, trinagular and side-notched end scrapers , stemmed and corner-notched bifaces, perforators, manos, whetstones, bone awls and beads of stone and seeds. Fauna include deer, antelope, bison and sheep. Radiocarbon dates range from to B. The pots are round-based with constricted necks and flattened and thickened lips.

Decoration occurs on the neck and rim, on the lip, and occasionally on the inner rim. The most common decorative elements are horizontal and oblique cord-wrapped stick impressions and exterior punctates. Method of manufacture was either by the paddle-and-anvil technique, or involved formation inside of a fabric container.

As a consequence the undecorated portions of the vessels are either cord-impressed or fabric-impressed. Associated artifacts and features may include small triangular and side- notched projectile points , a variety of stone and bone hide-scraping tools, ovate knives, stone drills , smoking pipes, bone awls , needles, harpoons and spatulas, bear and beaver tooth ornaments and tools, small copper tools and ornaments and mound burials. The locations of these sites and the nature of the material remains within them indicate that these people exploited a variety of forest resources, possibly including wild rice as well as the resources of the grasslands -- most notably bison.

See Anfinson l for a recent, general discussion. These may be used as is, or used as the basis for the production of other tools. This highly sophisticated technique makes the most economical use of lithic resources. The rough fashioning of blanks at a quarry would obviate the necessity of transporting greater amounts of unmodified stone to camp or fashioning all stone tools at the source of the stone.

As the top soil and occasionally some of the underlying strata are removed in this process, artifacts may be exposed. Most commonly, it refers to a fragment of a ceramic vessel which did not constitute part of the lip, rim, neck, shoulder or base. Because of their density, bones may survive in the archaeological record long after the decomposition of the soft tissue. Typically found in association are weapons and butchering implements. The grease floats and may be skimmed from the surface for immediate consumption, for storage or for use in pemmican.

Borden Designation. The label consists of four letters alternating upper and lower case followed by a number, e. The alphabetic prefix refers a block of l0 minutes by l0 minutes within a grid system which covers all of Canada south of 62 N latitude. The numerical suffix indicates that this is the first site within this block to be designated. This interval marks part of the warming trend between the Late Glacial climatic pattern and the warm dry Altithermal or Atlantic Climatic Episode which was to follow. During this time, the ice sheets retreated and vegetation zones moved towards their modern locations Wendland l Boreal Archaic.

As defined by Byers l , it was characterized by stemmed and side- notched projectile points , thumbnail and keeled scrapers , expanding and side-notched-based drills or perforators, shouldered knives and a proliferation of ground and polished implements: spears, adzes, gouges, plummets , rods, tubes, bannerstones , semilunar knives and birdstones. It was believed that Boreal Archaic peoples employed a diversified economy involving fishing, hunting, shellfish collection and plant harvesting.

This construct is no longer commonly used. Boreal Forest. The white and black spruces are the most common elements throughout, with tamarack, balsam fir, jackpine, alpine fir and lodgepole pine achieving more restricted distributions. Trembling aspen and balsam poplar are the most important deciduous species Rowe l The Boreal Forest is roughly equivalent to the taiga of ecologists. When used as a decorative element on pottery , they may be produced either by the impressing of a deep punctate on the opposite surface, or by the application and smoothing of small amounts of clay.

The tension thus imparted to the string is utilized to propel an arrow. When used as a suffix to a date, it indicates the number of years prior to A. This produces a heavily scored or striated appearance. Used by various North American Native peoples, particularly by residents of the plains.

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Two individuals may thus appear to be in association although they are not contemporaneous. The remains may be interred at a later date. Secondary burials are therefore not articulated or frequently improperly articulated and some bones may have been lost. In Manitoba mounds are associated with Woodland peoples. They are believed to have been used for engraving or scoring bone , antler or ivory prior to splitting.

C C-l4. The numerical suffix indicates that the atom contains l4 particles within its nucleus as opposed to the l2 within the more common, stable non-radioactive isotope. Campbell strandline. It was created between and B. In the archaeological record , the forceful enlargening of the foramen magnum at the base of the skull presumably for removal of the brains and the smashing of long bones for the extraction of bone grease are often viewed as evidence of cannibalism.

In at least some cases, however, it is possible that while the individual was thus prepared for consumption, they were only symbolically devoured. It is pointed at both ends and propelled by paddles. Caribou Lake Complex. With an estimated time-depth of to B. The condition of the teeth of a skeleton is often an important clue to the diet and health of the individual. Also known as "pipestone". See also dolichocephalic, mesocephalic and brachycephalic. Chalcedony was commonly used for tool-making and could be either chipped or ground. Chert is usually brown, grey or black and opaque although some specimens may be translucent along a thin edge.

As a consequence, chiefdoms share characteristics of both; an individual's family ties remain important, but individuals are ranked within the "family group" and families themselves are ranked relative to one another so that the society can no longer be considered egalitarian. At the top of the hierarchy is the chief, often believed to be a direct descendent of the mythical ancestor of the entire society.

Everyone's status is measured in terms of how closely they stand in a kin relation to the chief. He gains his authority from his position as the focal point for the redistribution of goods from a generally horticultural subsistence base although he is not empowered to use coercive force to impose his will.

This relatively high degree of organization and productivity allows a high population density and the establishment of major centres. Chiefdoms witness the beginnings of full-time craft specialization, permanent religious practitioners and the establishment of political office. Native North America witnessed several chiefdoms prior to the disruption associated with European contact in Central America. Such features are frequently interpreted as places used for the chipping of stone. This layer is little affected by soil-forming processes. Its primary constituent is hydrated aluminum silicate, but numerous impurities, such as quartz , mica, calcium carbonate, alkalies, iron compounds, humus , and sand may also be present.

Clay is plastic when moist, but hardens when dried and is used in the manufacture of ceramics. Clearwater Lake. The pots are round-based with constricted necks and generally outflaring rims. Exterior surfaces are fabric-impressed and exterior decoration is usually restricted to a single row of punctates which produce interior bosses. Lips are generally flattened and decorated in a great variety of ways. Associated tools include side- notched and triangular projectile points, scrapers, bifaces, gravers, celts, net sinkers, slate grinding stones , split bone awls , long bone flakers , bone spatulas, bird bone tubes, bone beads, shaft straighteners and red ochre Meyer l Believed by many to be the handiwork of the prehistoric and protohistoric Cree , the Clearwater Lake Complex is widely distributed throughout the Boreal Forest of central Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.

The highly distinctive projectile points are concave -based and highly variable in size, ranging from approximately 3 to l2 cm in length. One or both faces may be fluted with the channel flake extending one-half or less of the length of the point. Most Clovis sites are either surface finds of isolated projectile points or kill sites and hence the full nature of he complex is not known.

Associated artifacts include a variety of scraping tools, blades , hammerstones, chopping tools and foreshafts and defleshers of bone Frison l Clovis points are distributed from the arctic to Mexico, and from California as far east as Nova Scotia. Radiocarbon dated sites range in age from to approximately l0, B. Where perishable materials are preserved and an association can be demonstrated, faunal remains are nearly invariably those of the mammoth. Clovis points are rare in Manitoba due to the fact that most of the province was glaciated or beneath the waters of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Clovis period.

The small area in southwestern Manitoba which would have been available for occupation at that time probably did not support the kind of vegetation upon which mammoths depended for food Pettipas l Cochrane Re-advance. The knives are either single- shouldered or parallel-sided with a transverse blade. Associated artifacts include a variety of side- and end- scrapers, drills , knives, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates. Cody Complex sites are more or less restricted to grassland environments and where preservation is good, they contain the remains of now-extinct forms of bison.

In Manitoba, Cody artifacts occur above the Manitoba escarpment in the extreme southwestern corner of the province. Elsewhere, they have been radiocarbon dated between B. The coils are later smoothed-over by hand or paddled to complete the finish and to bind the coils to one another. Co-Influence Sphere. As the basis for a research design, the Co-Influence Sphere Model emphasizes interaction as opposed to unilineal chronology , and relies upon cultural comparisons beyond the immediate research area as a basis upon which to draw conclusions Syms l In prehistoric Manitoba this was restricted to copper and recent evidence indicates that temperatures of up to l C were often applied to render the substance less brittle.

Thus the Laurel Complex consists of the sum total of all evidence in the archaeological record which pertains to Laurel peoples; whereas the Laurel burial complex would only include Laurel burial mounds, grave goods, burial style, etc. A site containing only one occupation is a single component site , while one which was reoccupied is termed a multicomponent site.

The term is used to describe the fracturing properties of certain kinds of stone. In fine-grained materials such as flint , a fractured surface will exhibit roughly circular ridges radiating outwards from the point of impact. The term is most commonly used to describe the shape of ceramic vessels with pointed bases and straight profiles to the shoulder. Study of coprolites can yield information on the diet, environment and habits of early peoples. The cord of either vegetal or animal fibre may be used as is or wrapped around a stick or paddle see paddle-and-anvil technique.

In Manitoba, these techniques are most common within the Late Woodland Period. A "prepared" core is one which has been specially modified in such a way as to control the shape of subsequent flakes. The core itself may be modified into a tool core tool. This mode of postmortem treatment may be favoured for many reasons; to prevent the return of the dead, to protect the deceased from scavengers, or to prevent the transformation of the dead into a harmful entity.

Treatment of the ashes is highly variable from one group to another. Cremation seems to have been particularly popular with Palaeo-Indians and this is one of the reasons that skeletal remains dating to this period are so rare. Some species of plants are particularly sensitive to various subsurface conditions. For example cereals will not achieve normal height and will ripen sooner over wall foundations, while over ditches, or trenches they will grow taller and remain green longer.

Study of these differences, particularly with the aid of aerial photography , can reveal such features in remarkable detail. Cultivars may thus be found thriving outside of their normal habitats due to irrigation, fertilization or weeding. Occasionally it is used synonymously but incorrectly with social anthropology.

Cultural dynamics thus includes such phenomena as migration, diffusion, readaptation , population increases and expansions, etc.

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For that reason it concerns itself with the identification, inventory, protection and interpretation of archaeological remains for the general public in addition to serving scholarly interests. These rather frequently correspond to natural, environmental areas, thus reflecting a shared mode of adaptation to a similar environment. In practice, a culture area is defined on the basis of its centre. The peripheries often share more traits with neighbouring culture areas. Processual archaeology attempt to identify such causes, and tests hypotheses thus generated against other archaeological data.

Some members of this family were domesticated by Native North Americans. B is older than A but younger than C. Relative dating can thus be used to establish a chronology or sequence whereas absolute dating is required to anchor the events firmly in time. Daub is rarely preserved unless accidentally fired. Lithic debitage would thus include unused flakes , exhausted cores and broken artifacts. Blowouts are formed as a result of deflation. First a tree species from the region is chosen which attains considerable age and most reliably adds one and only one growth ring per year.

The oldest living specimen of this species is cut and sampled. A simple count of the rings indicates the number of years elapsed since the initiation of growth until the year of cutting. Next, progressively older wood samples are sought out which hopefully overlap in age with one another and with the modern tree. Such samples may be found as beams in old buildings or simply as fossilized logs in the forest. As the thickness of each ring depends on the amount of rainfall in that particular year, and as the amount of rainfall is essentially random from one year to the next, it is possible to match the outer rings of an old tree with the inner rings of a younger one on the basis of ring thickness.

At present, the master tree ring chart dendrochronograph for parts of the American Southwest extends back more than years. Once the master chart has been established for a given region, the process of dating simply involves the matching of the ring sequence of the sample with the corresponding series of ring widths on the chart. If the outer ring of the sample is intact, the number of years elapsed from the cutting of that tree is represented by the number of rings from that point to the modern end of the chart.

As rainfall can vary dramatically from one area to the next, the dendrochronograph is only applicable to samples from the area from which it derived. Dendrochronology has recently been used to improve the accuracy of radiocarbon dating. In Manitoba, dentates occur most frequently on vessels of the Laurel Ware.

A Glossary of Manitoba Archaeology>

Devils Lake-Sourisford Burial Complex. Some of the distinctive artifacts recovered from these sites include small, smoothed mortuary vessels , artifacts made of conch shell from the Gulf of Mexico, and tubular smoking pipes. The raw materials used and the style of their artwork indicates that these people participated in a far-flung trade network and were heavily influenced by Mississippian cultures to the south.

Although direct evidence is lacking, it is probable that these people made their living as nomadic bison hunters Syms l In many ways, the Dorset seems to represent an elaboration of earlier Pre-Dorset adaptations to the arctic environment. Particularly distinctive Dorset artifacts include antler, bone or ivory harpoon heads, three-dimensional ivory and bone carvings of humans and animals, and the increase in the use of grinding as opposed to chipping as a means of manufacturing projectile points and knives.

These people pursued a seasonal round which involved the taking of sea mammals in the spring, fishing and caribou hunting inland during the latter part of the summer and fall, and a winter occupation on the sea ice subsisting largely on seals. Dorset culture appears to have disappeared rather suddenly and mysteriously about l years ago with the expansion of the Thule people from Alaska. The dragged stamp method is also known as push-pull.

This implement is also sometimes known as a spokeshave. Drift copper may be found on the ground surface and undoubtedly was used by prehistoric peoples for the manufacturing of ornaments and tools. Duck Bay. Vessels are globular in shape with sharply angled necks and shoulders. Surfaces are fabric-impressed or roughened and decoration consists of rows of punctates Duck Bay Punctate type or varying combinations of interior notches, punctates and cord-wrapped stick impressions on and near the lip Duck Bay Decorated Lip type. Duncan points are included within the McKean Complex Wheeler l Early Prehistoric Period.

Early Side-notched Point Tradition. These are by-and-large restricted to the Northern Plains and neighbouring regions and coincide with the Altithermal or Atlantic Climatic Episode. A number of radiocarbon dates in excess of years clearly indicate that the authors of this tradition were contemporary with the Palaeo-Indians. Where preservation is good, these materials tend to be associated with the remains of now-extinct species of bison. The resulting vessel is soft and porous and requires a glaze to render it waterproof. Eastern Triangular.

The point is isosceles-triangular in outline, approximately 24 mm in length and l5 mm wide. In form it is very similar to and therefore readily confused with the many other triangular point styles of the Late Prehistoric Period across North America. Examples might include fauna, flora, pollen and soil. Eden points are 8 to l2 cm in length and approximately l. They are collaterally and horizontally flaked and thus display a diamond-shaped cross-section. Most have stems that are only slightly narrower than the blade -- in fact in some cases it is produced solely by lateral grinding.

Because they are sometimes found in association with Alberta and Scottsbluff points, they are included in the Cody Complex. Those of the upper Mississippi are the most well-known in North America. Of probable Hopewell affiliation, these may only be a metre or two in height but may be over l00 m. Occasionally, human burials have been found within them. Traditionally, the Eskimo lived in small bands and followed a seasonal round of activity.

These people are known for their remarkable technological and behavioural adaptations to one of the world's most trying environments. This contrasts with the study of prehistoric activity areas and the derivation of plausible inferences to define them. This common human tendency almost inevitably leads to the conclusion that other cultures are inferior to one's own. European contact. Included among the latter are either the wife's married daughters, their husbands and children, or the unmarried children and wives and children of married sons. In general usage, the term may simply imply a group of relatives beyond the nuclear family.

Extended McKean-Oxbow Complex. Under ideal conditions, it is possible to see the individual woven strands of the fabric which was wrapped around the paddle see paddle-and-anvil method or which comprised the mould within which the pot was formed. As different species are adapted to different environments , the kinds of animal bone found in an archaeological site can reveal information about local conditions. For example, the dominance of bison in the faunal record might indicate proximity to grasslands at the time that the site was occupied.

Because many species bear young only in a certain season, and since an expert can accurately determine an animal's age at the time of death, faunal analysis can also yield information of the time of year in which a site was occupied. The presence of seasonally migratory species may lend additional support to such conclusions. Finally, because most faunal material in sites are the remains of feasts, analysis can reveal information on the diet of the site's occupants and allow estimates of the number of people who may have resided there. Its significance may lie not in the object or objects which constitute the feature, but rather in the relationship of the objects to each other.

Thus while a cobble , fleck of ash or fragment of burned bone would mean little if found in isolation, a concentraton of bone and ash surrounded by a circle of cobbles would suggest a cooking area, and this patterning would constitute the feature. Other examples of features could include post moulds , storage pits, a garbage dump, a cache of tools, a flint knapping area, a collapsed dwelling or a burial. Feldspars are the chief elements of igneous rock. Generally, a fire fracture is difficult to distinguish from other forms of breakage such as that due to freezing.

For that reason other evidence such as scorching is required to identify the cause of fracturing. Characteristically, manufactured flakes have a bulb of percussion , a bulbar scar and compression rings radiating outward from the point of impact on the ventral face, and the remnant of the striking platform. Such artifacts are said to be fluted. Prismatic flakes are also known as blades sense 4.

This kind of flaking commonly produces a diamond-shaped cross-section. True flint occurs only in the Old World. Analysis of these can provide information on past environments and subsistence patterns. Living bone has a known and more-or-less constant fluorine content with some minor regional fluctuations due to differences in drinking water. After death, bone begins to absorb fluorine from ground water in the soil in which it is buried.

The process continues until a theoretical maximum is reached. Comparison of the fluorine content of two bones, therefore, will allow the archaeologist to determine which is older, or if the two are of approximately the same age. Because the rate of fluorine uptake varies from place to place, all of the samples to be dated must come from the same site or at least from similar situations. The most famous application of fluorine dating was its contribution to exposing the Piltdown hoax in England.

It was found that the human skull was much more recent than the bones of the extinct animals among which it had been planted. In Manitoba, fluorine analysis has been used primarily as a means of verifying series of radiocarbon dates or as a means of helping estimations of age when radiocarbon dating is not possible. In North American archaeology , the term is most commonly used in reference to the most distinctive trait of Clovis and Folsom projectile points -- bifacial fluting created by the detachment of channel flakes.

The Folsom site is of particular significance to the history of American archaeology because it was here that the discoveries were made l that conclusively demonstrated the contemporaneity of man with now-extinct species of animals in the New World. The projectile points of the Folsom Complex are among the finest examples of the flint knapper's art found anywhere in the world. Ranging in length from 2 to 7. Occasionally a small "nipple" or projection may be present at the centre of the base. This is a remnant of the striking platform created to enable the removal of the channel flakes which often extend the full length of each face.

Associated artifacts include a variety of scraping tools, gravers , knives, grinding stones, hammerstones and gaming pieces. Where preservation is good the predominant faunal association is bison, thus marking a change from the earlier Clovis peoples' focus upon the mammoth. Folsom points occur over a fairly broad area, but excavated sites cluster between Montana and Texas. Folsom points are nearly as rare in Manitoba as Clovis and for much the same reason; Lake Agassiz covered much of the province and the southwestern corner of the province which was available for occupation did not support the kind of vegetation suitable for the animals which Clovis and Folsom peoples hunted.

Folsom radiocarbon dates range from approximately to B. The latter falls away after the foreshaft penetrates the prey and thus may be retrieved. In strictest terms, fossilization refers only to the loss of fats and gelatine from bone and not necessarily the subsequent replacement of these by minerals mineralization. In its most general and most incorrect usage, a fossil may be anything dug from the ground. At least four major periods of glaciation are recognized within the Pleistocene epoch: the Nebraskan, the Kansan, the Illinoian and most recently, the Wisconsinan.

It is characterized by a greyish coloration, mottled appearance and a reduced concentration of iron and other elements. When used in reference to pottery , it implies a generally rounded vessel shape. If a group of people becomes divided into two due to a migration or by some other means, their modes of speech will change differentially and after one or two thousand years they will be incapable of understanding each other. It is baited and imbeds itself crosswise in the throat of fish or small game when the line is pulled.

These are often interpreted as woodworking tools.

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Grass River. Known only from a handful of sites, Grass River vessels were globular in shape and were impressed with a ribbed-fabric covered paddle. Decoration usually consisted of a single row of circular punctates around the rim. Virtually no other diagnostic artifacts were found in association with the ceramics Hlady l97l. There is now a consensus that the Grass River ceramics are in fact Selkirk Focus Ware and as a consequence the Grass River Phase concept has fallen into disuse. In archaeoalogy , a site is usually gridded into squares before excavations begin.

Each square or unit is numbered, often on the basis of its distance and direction from the site datum. A single individual is usually reponsible for the excavation of each square. Temper lends strength to the vessel and helps prevent it from breaking when fired. Evidence pointing toward this function might include remains of dwelling structures and cooking areas. Signs of use may include pecking facets or battering at the working end.

Hanna points are included within the McKean Complex Wheeler l Hardness is considered to be a diagnostic attribute of pottery and is measured by means of the Moh Scale. Aboriginal pottery in Manitoba ranges from 2 to approximately 3. Upon striking the prey, the main shaft falls away and the harpoon head, with a line attached, remains in the animal. Such a feature may be defined on the basis of ash, charcoal , blackened earth, an encircling ring of cobbles, fire-broken rock , burned bones or a baked clay floor.

Hell Gap. In some respects, the Hell Gap projectile point is similar to the Agate Basin type and the close relationship between the two complexes has often been commented upon. The former style, however, exhibits a base which is constricted to such a degree as to render the point a stemmed appearance. Lateral grinding is heavy along the "stem". The length of these specimens ranges from 5 to l6 cm. Flaking may be parallel or more irregular. Other items of the complex include a variety of side- and end- scrapers , a number of knife styles including a single- shouldered variety, burins, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates.

Hell Gap sites are most common in the Northern Plains and adjacent regions. Where preservation is good, the fauna found in association is predominantly bison of now-extinct species. At one site, it was suggested that natural features such as parabolic sand dunes were used to help in the entrapment of a number of animals at once. Frison l A few Hell Gap points have been found in Manitoba but unfortunately, all are surface finds.

Hematite is also known as red ochre , particularly in its softer forms or after having been mixed with grease for use as paint. The point of termination is abrupt, and the flake is rounded on its ventral face and sharp on its dorsal face at the distal end. In North America therefore historic archaeology is the archaeology of people after European contact. In Manitoba, historical archaeologists study such things as early forts, fur trading posts, the residences of early settlers or Indian encampments which yield European trade goods. According to some, the Holocene is not a separate epoch at all -- it is simply a brief warm spell within the Pleistocene.

The Holocene is also known as the Recent Epoch. Homo sapiens. Some include the Neanderthals within this species also. Hopewell artifacts which are believed to have been ceremonial in function are very similar over vast areas while utilitarian objects vary regionally. This has led some to believe that Hopewell is simply a religion, cult or belief system shared by a number of groups with different languages and subsistence modes. The sheer ambitiousness in some of the Hopewell earthworks and the fineness of their artworks have suggested to some the ranked society, division of labour, and occupational specialization usually associated with farming societies.

Direct evidence, however, is not overly convincing. It seems more probable that Hopewell people made their living by hunting, fishing and gathering a wide variety of resources within a rich environment. The presence of such objects or styles horizon "markers" are thus useful as a means of dating a site. The site, radiocarbon dated between and B.

As used by Irwin l97l , the term also refers to a phase which he dates between and B. As a means of pottery decoration, incising refers to the freehand etching of narrow deep lines on the vessel surface with a sharp instrument prior to firing. Culture, sense 3. In archaeology , it refers to an artifact or other object found in its original position. Such diagnoses are common among many pre-industrial cultures worldwide. The cure often consists of the removal of the object by a shaman or sorcerer. Sometimes this is accomplished by apparently sucking the object through a bone tube sucking tube and then displaying the object as proof of the cure.

These are often erected in a long V-shaped formation bordering a drive lane. Lawrence River valley and isolated portions of the east-central United States. This phenomenon is of particular importance in Manitoba archaeology as the south-to-north tilting of the landscape due to the retreat of the Wisconsinan ice sheet influenced the shoreline of glacial Lake Agassiz and thus the areas which were available for human occupation.

Most prehistoric jade objects in Canada originate in British Columbia but some artifacts particularly adzes were traded into Alberta. Kame Hills Complex. Included in the artifact inventory are side- and corner- notched projectile points , triangular points, a variety of scraper and biface forms, whetstones, adzes, gravers and grooved hammerstones. The bone industry consisted of points, awls and beads and a harpoon head made of antler. It is the ceramics , however, which are the most distinctive and which provided the impetus to define the complex. Large and small pots and plates were fashioned from clay as were bowls, cups and smoking pipes.

Although the majority of the pots were of the Clearwater Lake Punctate type, variation in vessel shape and in the combination of decorative elements used, served to distinguish the Southern Indian Lake pots from those from neighbouring areas. Dickson l estimates the complex to date from A. In some varieties, a waterproof coat covers the cockpit and fastens tightly around the neck and wrists of the traveller, thus rendering the vehicle and clothing contiguous and the kayak virtually unsinkable. A skilled individual can travel in heavy water and breakers in such a craft.

Keewatin Lanceolate. As the name implies, these specimens are unnotched and in terms of most particulars, including size, shape, thickness, type of flaking and presence and extent of basal and lateral grinding , they are essentially identical to Agate Basin points. Wright l considers Keewatin Lanceolate points and the complex within which they occur to represent an occupation by Plano peoples who were ancestral to the authors of his Shield Archaic Tradition. The debris which formerly covered the ice is thus allowed to settle to the bottom of the kettle. Killed artifacts may be found as grave goods and the implication is that this was accomplished so that the spirit of the artifacts could accompany the spirit of the deceased to the afterlife.

As one would expect, the artifacts commonly found at such sites include projectile points and large knives. Faunal remains are often extremely numerous and an analysis of these may provide details on the method used to butcher the animals. Some of the plants used produced a mild narcotic effect. Knife River Flint. Lake Agassiz. During its lifespan, the southern shore shifted generally to the north in accordance with the erratic but inevitable northward retreat of the glacier.

In its wake, it left many strandlines and deltas including the km2 Assiniboine delta in the Carberry area as evidence of an earlier period of stable water levels. Lakes Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, Manitoba and the many smaller lakes of the Pre-Cambrian Shield of eastern Manitoba are but remnants of this once immense lake. This concept is no longer used and the materials which Vickers retrieved are now generally attributed to the McKean Complex.

In archaeological usage, the term usually refers to long, slender, unnotched chipped stone projectile points. This late Archaic or late Middle Prehistoric Period complex consists of corner- notched projectile points named Larter Tanged, unnotched projectile points, or blanks , a variety of scrapers and knives, drills, gravers , chisels, grooved hammerstones and sinew stones. Larter peoples appear to have followed a seasonal round of activities centred upon the communal hunting of bison, although their diet was supplemented by a variety of other animals as well as fish and shellfish.

Larter Sub-Phase. Late Glacial Climatic Episode. During this time, the Manitoba landscape was dominated by Wisconsinan ice and later by Lake Agassiz. Temperatures to the south of these features tended to average a few degrees Celsius cooler than the present, and vegetational zones accordingly lay far to the south of their modern positions Wendland l Late Prehistoric Period. This term is most commonly used for the plains , but is roughly equivalent in terms of its dating to the Woodland Period of the eastern forests ca.

In many ways, the basic lifestyles remained largely unchanged from those of the earlier Middle Prehistoric or Archaic Period. Nonetheless, a number of technological and behavioural innovations are present in the archaeological record which allow archaeologists to identify sites of this period with relative ease. These include the manufacturing of pottery , the use of the bow and arrow , the construction of burial mounds and an intensification of the use of bison corrals and bison "jumps" as a communal hunting technique.

Laurel vessels are grit-tempered and manufactured by means of coiling. Vessel shape is conoidal with slightly constricting necks terminating in unthickened lips. Surface finish is smooth except where decorated. The Laurel lithic industry consists of a variety of scrapers, and bifaces, pieces esquillees , netskinkers , hammerstones, anvils, smoking pipes , tools for decorating pottery, mortars, pestles, manos, abraders and pendants.

The bone , antler, tooth, claw and shell industries are extremely well represented, and served as media for the production of numerous classes of tools and a variety of personal adornments. Native copper was also utilized for beads , pendants, chisels, fishhooks and knives. Subsistence was based on a wide range of resources including large and small mammals, wildfowl, shellfish, turtles and fish. Plants were also heavily utilized and it is possibly at this time that wild rice first entered the diets of prehistoric Manitobans.

One of the most spectacular aspects of the Laurel culture was the construction of burial mounds. The largest of these was originally 36 m in maximum diameter and l4 m high. Within these mounds were placed the deceased together with meagre grave goods. The condition of some of the skeletons was suggestive of ritual? Laurel sites are distributed in a broad arc from east-central Saskatchewan through central Manitoba to northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario, and eastwards around the shores of Lake Superior to northern Michigan. Radiocarbon dating shows them to date between approximately B.

Laurel Triangular. These specimens are isosceles-triangular in outline and range in length from 23 to 33 mm. Bases are slightly convex to rounded and virtually all exhibit basal thinning. They are distinguishable from more recent triangular forms such as Eastern Triangular on the basis of the former's larger size alone. Leaching also accounts for the gradual disappearance of bone from archaeological sites, particularly when the soil is acidic. Each point has a barb on the inner side. Lichenometry offers a means of calculating the minimum age of any rock painting or petroglyph which is overgrown with lichen or a petroform if the cobbles from which it is made were overturned during the construction phase.

The latter condition is necessary as lichen grows only on the upper, exposed face of boulders and thus inversion will kill the old lichen and allow new patches to begin growing. If the rate of lichen growth in any given region can be determined usually by long term observation then a simple calculation will yield the age of the "new" lichen patch and thus the age of the petroform. Similarly, rock paintings and glyphs can theoretically be dated by the amount of lichen on top of them, or by the extent of "new" patches assuming that the rock surface was cleared of "old" lichen before use.

Unfortunately lichenometry is not yet sufficiently refined for widespread use by archaeologists. Henry Irwin l97l defined Lindenmeier as a phase consisting of two sequent subphases, the Folsom and the Midland which followed it. He considered the Lindenmeier Phase to date from to B. Rounded expansions often occur at the ends of the mounds and at turning points. These are much less common than their oval and circular counterparts and tend to occur most frequently in southwestern Manitoba and adjacent portions of North Dakota.

The largest of these was m in length, over l0 m in width and approximately l m in height. The function of these structures is something of a mystery. They do not appear to have been used for burying the dead, and although they are occasionally called "entrenchments", they are not usually in easily defensible locations, and would not be particularly effective for that purpose. It is possible that they fulfilled some ceremonial but as yet unknown purpose.

Judicious use of linguistic data can reveal much of direct relevance to archaeology. The degree of similarity between two related languages is a gauge of the amount of contact between the two groups or the amount of time elapsed since they separated. Glottochronology can put an absolute date on the "split", and occasionally archaeoalogy can trace the route of the emmigrant group.


Comparison of terms in modern related languages can yield insights into the nature of the common "mother" language from which they all developed. These may include the kind of technological items the speakers of the now-extinct language used and even the geographic region they originally occupied. In the absence of specially prepared ground surfaces, living floors may only be defined on the basis of the depths of artifacts pertaining to that component and the degree of compaction of the floor due to people walking on it. Often, overlying soil will appear to peel off the floor due to the different densities involved.

Exposure of entire living floors allows the graphic representation of the various activity areas of a site at a specific point in time.

The Boreal Forest: 3. Adaptation

Llano Complex. Lockport Stemmed. These crudely fashioned specimens are approximately 45 mm in length and 20 mm in width and show a tendency toward asymmetry. The stems are short and straight and the shoulders poorly defined. This taxon is not generally used by Manitoba archaeologists as so few of these specimens have been recovered. Logan Creek. One of the hallmarks of the complex is the side- notched projectile point which in many areas is the first style to appear after the demise of the Plano lanceolate forms.

The former range from approximately l7 to 50 mm in length, have triangular blades, straight or concave bases and are frequently basally ground. Perhaps one of the most diagnostic traits of this complex is the practice of manufacturing side-notched end- scrapers , presumably from fragments of broken projectile points. Other items in the Logan Creek inventory include drills, grinding stones, hammerstones, bone awls, beads , needles, shaft straighteners , and fishhooks, and serrated mussel shells. Sites are widely distributed in the eastern grasslands , particularly near the forest edge, in major river valleys, in outliers of the eastern forests or near perennial sources of water.

Presumably this reflects the generalized drought conditions which central North America was experiencing at the time. Faunal remains , found in association with Logan Creek materials tend to be more varied than those of their Palaeo-Indian predecessors, although bison seem to have remained the mainstay of these peoples' diets. Radiocarbon dating indicates an age for this culture of B.

The latter may include the use of incantations "prayers" or songs , graphic representations, or symbols, and the manipulation of objects. Magical beliefs are difficult to infer from the archaeological record , although such items as sucking tubes and medicine bags and other ethnographically known items are occasionally recovered. Some interpret certain examples of rock art , particularly depictions of large game animals, as forms of hunting magic. Painting or engraving the likeness of a prey species on rock may have served to placate the spirit who controlled that species.

Alternately, if the animal was represented with arrows in it, the intent may have been to bring about an event by imitataing it imitative magic. The heating brings about the loss of whatever magnetism the substance may have contained. As it cools, however, the metallic particles align themselves in accordance with the orientation of the magnetic field of the earth. As these variations or "anomalies" are in part the product of various subsurface features , a magnetometric survey can assist the archaeologist in locating and determining the size and nature of an archaeological site prior to excavation.

Indian corn, zea mays. Maize is one of the oldest and certainly one of the most important of the Native American domesticated plants. These grassland -adapted animals, the preferred prey species of the Clovis people, became extinct in the ninth millenium B. Manitoba Lowlands. This flat, generally poorly-drained land consists of some of the lowest lying terrain in the southern half of the province approximately 2l0 to m a. Vegetation consists chiefly of black spruce and tamarack with intermittent meadows and swamps, although white spruce, trembling aspen, balsam popular, balsam fir and white birch may occur in some of the better-drained situations.

Manitoba Point. These specimens are lanceolate in overall outline and exhibit highly convex blade margins. Since the time of the original definition, similar points have been recovered as far west as Alberta and as far south as Wyoming. These are usually surface finds, but are often from the same location as Agate Basin points.

An excavated example of the type from Wyoming was radiocarbon dated at 6l00 B. Manuports need exhibit no other evidence of cultural modification to warrant classification as artifacts. These browsers unlike the grazing mammoths subsisted on twigs and leaves and for that reason their remains are found in what would have been forested regions. The maul may be grooved to facilitate holding or hafting , and may be classified according to the extent to which the groove travels the circumference of the tool for example, three-quarter grooved maul, full-grooved maul, etc.

The McKean Lanceolate point is narrow, generally leaf-shaped with a deeply concave , occasionally notched base. Length ranges from 25 to approximately 60 mm. Duncan and Hanna projectile points are included within the complex and appear to be somewhat more recent than the more classic lanceolate variety.

Other artifacts in the McKean inventory include a variety of scraper styles including those made on tabular fragments of stone, oval blanks or bifaces , crude choppers , polyhedral cores, bone scrapers and beamers and gaming pieces fashioned from coyote teeth. Radiocarbon dates on McKean materials from Wyoming may predate B. Thus it would appear that the complex originates outside the province and that although there is considerable overlap, McKean is generally more recent than Oxbow , but older than Larter Pelican Lake. Bison is the most common faunal element found in association with the complex although it is clear that these people supplemented their diet with a number of other animals, birds and fish.

McKean sites are fairly common over much of the northern plains and in Manitoba, excavated sites and surface finds are distributed across most of the southern half of the province. Meetings were held from time to time in specially constructed secret lodges. The ceremonies, conducted by individuals imbued with magical power, centred upon the initiation of new members, healing, and the renewal of the group's contact with the supernatural. These features, scattered across the northern plains from Wyoming to Manitoba probably served some ceremonial function s.

Some attribute prehistoric rock paintings to these creatures. Too small to have been used without hafting , some were set edge-to-edge in a groove in a bone or wood shaft and so served as cutting tools, while others would have been functional as barbs. Middle Prehistoric Period. The term is most commonly used of the plains sequence, but is roughly equivalent in terms of its dating to the Archaic Period of the eastern forests. Some would include part of the Besant Phase within the Middle Period also as the bow , the introduction of which is frequently used to mark the onset of the Late or Woodland Period, appears during the Besant times.

Originally, Midland points were called "unfluted Folsoms " because of similarities in outline shape, manufacturing technology, and a tendency to occur in association with Folsom points. It is now clear, however, that many of these are much too thin to have been intended for fluting and most consider Midland to be a distinct type. Other artifacts in the complex include a variety of side- and end- scrapers , and knives, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates.

Midland sites are more or less restricted to the southern plains and are approximately the same age as Folsom. Irwin l97l considers Midland to be the second after Folsom of the two subphases of the Lindenmeier Phase. He dates the Midland Subphase at to B. Midwestern Taxonomic Method. McKern l for classifying archaeological data. It was he who first explicitly defined the focus, aspect, phase, pattern and base and how these concepts relate to one another.

Not all of these terms remain in use, and those which have survived are used in different ways from that proposed by McKern. In contrast to a metate , however, the mano was used in a rotary, rather than a back and forth motion. The Milnesand point is superficially simlar to the Plainview style, but lacks the deeply concave base of the latter, and has more extensive lateral grinding.

The generally lanceolate form tapers gently to a straight or slightly concave or convex base which is thinned by the removal of numerous minute flakes. The faces generally exhibit transverse horizontal flaking and length ranges from 4 to 7. Although generally viewed as a southern plains style, similar forms have been found as far to the northeast as Iowa. At the type site the points were found in association with scrapers and badly decomposed bison bone.

The end product is an inorganic object which may therefore survive for immense periods of time in the archaeological record in the shape of the original. These wetlands are invaluable: they filter millions of litres of water every day, and they provide breeding, moulting, and staging resting and feeding habitat for more than 13 million ducks—about 40 percent of the North American duck population. Nearly half of the birds in North America rely on the boreal forest at some time during the year. It is estimated that at least 3 billion landbirds, water birds, and shorebirds breed in the boreal forest each year, representing more than species.

Another million birds, including several species of shorebirds, swans, and geese, breed farther north and travel through the boreal forest during migration. Many of the birds that we see in our communities have bred in the boreal forest or passed through it travelling north or south, and many of these are the singers of the forests—small birds such as warblers, vireos, thrushes, kinglets, grosbeaks, sparrows, and flycatchers—which are hard to see but wonderful to hear.

Ducks, loons, grebes, rails, gulls, kingfishers, and cranes depend on Canada's boreal waters for nesting and for food. Other bird species, such as woodpeckers, finches, nuthatches, chickadees, owls, grouse, and ravens, can live in the boreal forest year-round, having adapted to the climate. Black-capped chickadees, for example, have black and white feather patterns that are designed to absorb heat and provide the best insulation when they are sleeping.

They can also sleep in holes in the snow which act like tiny igloos to keep them warm. In winter, Great Gray Owls use their extremely sensitive ears and silent flight to locate and capture small mammals under the snow, and Ruffed Grouse grow scales on the sides of their toes that turn their feet into snowshoes.

The boreal forest shelters more than 85 species of mammals, including some of the largest and most majestic—wood bison, elk, moose, woodland caribou, grizzly and black bears, and wolves—and smaller species, such as beavers, snowshoe hares, Canada lynx, red squirrels, lemmings, and voles. Of these, the snowshoe hare is the most ecologically important.

It is a food source for many of the boreal forest's predators both mammals and birds and feeds on the forest's various plants and shrubs, linking all of these species in a tight food web. Like other species, many mammal species have adapted to conditions in their boreal home. For example, the snowshoe hare turns from brown-grey in the summer to white in the winter, so that it always blends with its surroundings. Moose, wood bison, and other large mammals have a low surface area-to-volume ratio, which minimizes the amount of body heat they lose in winter.

The beaver is one of the most important animals in the boreal forest. Using its ever-growing front teeth, it fells trees and eats the leaves, twigs, and bark, using the wood to build dams and lodges. Beaver dams flood parts of the forest, creating ponds and wetlands that are used by fish, waterfowl, and amphibians. The boreal forest is a challenging home for reptiles and amphibians, which depend on environmental conditions to regulate their body temperatures.

Spring and summer temperatures likely limit how far north many species are found, since temperatures must be high enough for eggs to hatch and young to grow. In summer, reptiles and amphibians choose appropriate habitat and bask in the sun to reach body temperatures that allow them to hunt effectively and digest prey.

In winter, most amphibians and reptiles that hibernate on land seek out sites underground where temperatures consistently remain above freezing, although wood frogs and chorus frogs simply burrow in the leaf litter and depend on chemicals to make them freeze-tolerant; during hibernation, more than 40 percent of their body fluids can consist of ice. Other frogs and turtles hibernate at the bottom of ponds and lakes. Insects are critical components of boreal food webs and play important ecological roles as pollinators and decomposers, yet as a group, they are among the most poorly understood organisms in the boreal region.

Except for relatively few species, mainly those considered "pests" because of the economic losses they cause by damaging or killing trees, or highly conspicuous groups such as butterflies, little more than the names and general habitat preferences is known. It is estimated that 32 insect species inhabit Canada's boreal forest, although about one third of these species have yet to be described. Among the known species, several are particularly well adapted to their habitat. For example, black fire beetles have infrared sensing organs on their bodies that allow them to track the heat of forest fires as they search for freshly burned trees on which to lay their eggs.

Other species, like the white-spotted sawyer beetle, use their long antennae to sense chemicals in smoke and charcoal to achieve the same goal. Like many other insect species, in addition to starting the decomposition of fire-killed trees, these two beetle species are an important part of the diet of several bird species commonly found in burned forests. Canada's boreal forest is home to about species of fish. Most fish species in the boreal region are small, like minnows and stickleback. Larger species, including walleye, northern pike, lake trout, Arctic grayling, yellow perch, brook trout, whitefish, and burbot, are some of the most common game fish.

Fish living in the boreal forest are a hardy bunch, as they have to contend with long winter months and cold temperatures. Numerous fish species also migrate between different areas of rivers and lakes at different times of the year. For instance, many populations of bull trout live in different areas of the river during the winter, summer, and fall. Perhaps the largest migrations are completed by chum salmon and chinook salmon in the most northwestern portion of the boreal forest. These species are born in small streams, but migrate to the ocean, where they grow and mature, before migrating back into rivers to reproduce and die.

The majority of them return to the same area where they were hatched, and migrations of several hundred kilometres are common. Some fish, like northern pike and walleye, feed on other fish species; species such as lake trout, white sucker, lake sturgeon, and lake whitefish eat aquatic insects and other invertebrates; still others, such as yellow perch, cisco, and many minnow species, feed on tiny zooplankton in the water. In turn, fish are food for eagles, osprey, herons, loons, mergansers, bears, and otters.

The boreal region not only supports the species that live within it; it also provides benefits that extend beyond its borders. The forest's extensive wetlands lessen the effects of floods and droughts by storing and moderating the flow of water between upland areas and lowland regions. Its wetlands also act as water filters by removing impurities from the water that flows through them. The boreal forest's trees and other vegetation help to control erosion, improve the cycling of nutrients, and promote the formation of soil. Sometimes natural disturbances, such as forest fires, contribute to plant growth.

Fires release nutrients that were tied up in leaves, logs, and needles on the forest floor, which can aid in the vigorous regeneration of vegetation following fire. The forest also helps to regulate the earth's climate by storing carbon in peat deposits, soils, lake sediments, and trees. This prevents atmospheric carbon from being released as carbon dioxide and methane, two gases linked to climate change.

Boreal Forest Adaptations

As one of the few remaining relatively intact ecosystems on our planet, the boreal forest helps to preserve biodiversity, or the variety of life on Earth. Every living thing plays an essential role in maintaining a balance in Earth's natural processes. That's why biodiversity is so important. And that is why the boreal forest is important too. The Canadian boreal forest is home to about two thirds of Canada's species of plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Economic activity in the boreal forest sparks other benefits.

It brings products to people around the world and supports the people who live and work in the boreal region. Much of the world's forestry, mining, oil and gas production, hydroelectric generation, tourism, and harvesting of natural products occur in the boreal forest. About 14 percent of Canadians living in hundreds of communities located in the boreal region rely on these industries.

Others make their livings on land at the southern edge of the boreal forest that has been converted into farmland. The boreal forest is home for about 80 percent of Canada's Aboriginal peoples, whose rich heritage is strongly linked to the forest. Unfortunately, there are negative aspects to development in the boreal forest. The main consequences are habitat loss and fragmentation. These occur when land is cleared for farmland or flooded to make reservoirs for hydroelectric generating stations or when seismic lines, pipeline rights-of-way, forestry roads, and mine sites are cut into the forest.

These activities in some cases weaken its natural systems and disturb wildlife species that depend on large, intact areas or require a specific habitat to survive. These impacts or changes to boreal ecosystems, along with pollution from some of these industries and the diversion of water flow sometimes caused by hydroelectric and mining developments, can have serious consequences for wildlife. While the boreal forest harbours few species at risk, some species are being affected by human disturbances.

The most well-known species at risk found in the boreal region are some populations of woodland caribou, the wood bison, the Peregrine Falcon, the Yellow Rail, and the Whooping Crane. Maintaining boreal habitat in protected areas has helped in the slow recovery of the wood bison and the Whooping Crane, both of which almost disappeared in the first half of the twentieth century. Conversion to agricultural land modifies or destroys wildlife habitat and may greatly change the amount of carbon that can be held in the ecosystem. Forests hold between 20 and times more carbon than do agricultural crops, and they keep the carbon for longer periods.

Another threat is climate change. Global increases in temperatures could bring more frequent and severe disturbances from fire and insects, for example, changes in the quantity and quality of water, and a gradual migration northward of the forest itself. In western Canada, many of the species found in boreal lakes are near their thermal limits in normal conditions; a few degrees of warming could cause them to decline or disappear. Climate change is also likely to decrease biodiversity by filtering out species that do not move or spread easily and by favouring less diverse and more aggressive, invasive, species.

The boreal forest is strongly influenced by natural disturbances, such as wildfires, insects, and disease, as well as human ones. Some of these disturbances can be positive. For example, many species are adapted to thrive after fire in the boreal region. Pine trees release seeds when a fire's heat opens their cones, and species such as fireweed and aspen regenerate right after fire, often from roots and shoots that survive in the soil.

Many people are taking steps to help the boreal forest remain healthy. Governments are examining the combined effects of development pressures and are trying to find ways to reduce the impacts. Industry is making efforts as well. The forest sector is reducing the impact of forestry on boreal water resources and is identifying areas critical for biodiversity. Although overall exploration activity is increasing, some oil and gas companies are working to decrease their impact by reducing the size of seismic disturbance when they look for oil and gas, and the electricity industry is working to maintain healthy populations of fish and wildlife during the design, operation, and maintenance of facilities.

Finally, individuals are getting informed about the boreal forest and are taking action, like reducing, reusing, and recycling paper products, and adopting alternative energy sources. While all of these actions will help reduce the impacts on the boreal forest, a big challenge is managing the boreal region in a sustainable manner.

To do this, scientists are working to increase our knowledge, trying to understand how boreal ecosystems function, how human activities affect the forests, and how we can make better decisions about those activities. Greater scientific understanding, along with a wealth of traditional knowledge, can be used to sustain our magnificent boreal forest now and for generations to come.

Model Forest Network. Farrar, J. Trees in Canada. Nelson, J. The fishes of Alberta, second edition. University of Alberta Press, Edmonton.

All rights reserved. Contributors: P. Blancher, S. Bradbury, T. Cobb, C. Fisher, K. Hannah, B. Johns, J. Lane, D. MacIsaac, C. Paszkowski, G. Scrimgeour, S. Song, Editing: M. This fact sheet has been produced with the generous support of. The Common Raven Corvus corax is one of the heaviest passerine birds and the largest of all the songbirds. It is easily recognizable because of its size between 54 and 67 centimetres long, with a wingspan of to cm, and weighing between 0.

It has a ruff of feathers on the throat, which are called 'hackles', and a wide, robust bill. When in flight, it has a wedge-shaped tail, with longer feathers in the middle. While females may be a bit smaller, both sexes are very similar. The size of an adult raven may also vary according to its habitat, as subspecies from colder areas are often larger. A raven may live up to 21 years in the wild, making it one of the species with the longest lifespan in all passerine birds. Both birds are from the same genus order of passerine birds, corvid family —like jays, magpies and nutcrackers, Corvus genus and have a similar colouring.

But the American Crow is smaller with a wingspan of about 75 cm and has a fan-shaped tail when in flight with no longer feathers. Their cries are different: the raven produces a low croaking sound, while the crow has a higher pitched cawing cry. While adult ravens tend to live alone or in pairs, crows are more often observed in larger groups. The Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua is a medium to large saltwater fish: generally averaging two to three kilograms in weight and about 65 to centimetres in length, the largest cod on record weighed about kg and was more than cm long!

Individuals living closer to shore tend to be smaller than their offshore relatives, but male and female cod are not different in size, wherever they live. The Atlantic Cod shares some of its physical features with the two other species of its genus, or group of species, named Gadus.

The Pacific Cod and Alaska Pollock also have three rounded dorsal fins and two anal fins. They also have small pelvic fins right under their gills, and barbels or whiskers on their chins. Both Pacific and Atlantic Cod have a white line on each side of their bodies from the gills to their tails, or pectoral fins. This line is actually a sensory organ that helps fish detect vibrations in the water.

The colour of an Atlantic Cod is often darker on its top than on its belly, which is silver, white or cream-coloured. In rocky areas, a cod may be a darker brown colour. Cod are often mottled, or have a lot of darker blotches or spots. It can weigh up to 63, kilograms and measure up to 16 metres. Females tend to be a bit larger than males — measuring, on average, one metre longer. Its head makes up about a fourth of its body length, and its mouth is characterized by its arched, or highly curved, jaw.

Its skin is otherwise smooth and black, but some individuals have white patches on their bellies and chin. It has large, triangular flippers, or pectoral fins. Its tail, also called flukes or caudal fins, is broad six m wide from tip to tip! Unlike most other large whales, it has no dorsal fin. For a variety of reasons, including its rarity, scientists know very little about this rather large animal. For example, there is little data on the longevity of Right Whales, but photo identification on living whales and the analysis of ear bones and eyes on dead individuals can be used to estimate age.

It is believed that they live at least 70 years, maybe even over years, since closely related species can live as long. Unique characteristics. The Right Whale has a bit of an unusual name. Its name in French is more straightforward; baleine noire, the black whale. The American Eel Anguilla rostrata is a fascinating migratory fish with a very complex life cycle. Like salmon, it lives both in freshwater and saltwater.

It is born in saltwater and migrating to freshwater to grow and mature before returning to saltwater to spawn and die. The American Eel can live as long as 50 years. It is a long, slender fish that can grow longer than one metre in length and 7. Males tend to be smaller than females, reaching a size of about 0. With its small pectoral fins right behind its gills, absence of pelvic fins, long dorsal and ventral fins and the thin coat of mucus on its tiny scales, the adult eel slightly resembles a slimy snake but are in fact true fish.

Adult eels vary in coloration, from olive green and brown to greenish-yellow, with a light gray or white belly. Females are lighter in colour than males. Large females turn dark grey or silver when they mature. The American Eel is the only representative of its genus or group of related species in North America, but it does have a close relative which shares the same spawning area: the European Eel.

Both have similar lifecycles but different distributions in freshwater systems except in Iceland, where both and hybrids of both species can be found. The Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica is a medium-sized songbird, about the size of a sparrow. It measures between 15 and 18 centimeters cm in length and 29 to 32 cm in wingspan, and weighs between 15 and 20 grams g.

Its back and tail plumage is a distinctive steely, iridescent blue, with light brown or rust belly and a chestnut-coloured throat and forehead. Their long forked tail and pointed wings also make them easily recognizable. Both sexes may look similar, but females are typically not as brightly coloured and have shorter tails than males. When perched, this swallow looks almost conical because of its flat, short head, very short neck and its long body. Although the average lifespan of a Barn Swallow is about four years, a North American individual older than eight years and a European individual older than 16 years have been observed.

Sights and sounds: Like all swallows, the Barn Swallow is diurnal —it is active during the day, from dusk to dawn. It is an agile flyer that creates very acrobatic patterns in flight. It can fly from very close to the ground or water to more than 30 m heights. When not in flight, the Barn Swallow can be observed perched on fences, wires, TV antennas or dead branches. Both male and female Barn Swallows sing both individually and in groups in a wide variety of twitters, warbles, whirrs and chirps.

They give a loud call when threatened, to which other swallows will react, leaving their nests to defend the area. Freshwater turtles are reptiles, like snakes, crocodilians and lizards. They also have a scaly skin, enabling them, as opposed to most amphibians, to live outside of water. Also like many reptile species, turtles lay eggs they are oviparous. But what makes them different to other reptiles is that turtles have a shell. This shell, composed of a carapace in the back and a plastron on the belly, is made of bony plates.

These bones are covered by horny scutes made of keratin like human fingernails or leathery skin, depending on the species. All Canadian freshwater turtles can retreat in their shells and hide their entire body except the Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina. This shell is considered perhaps the most efficient form of armour in the animal kingdom, as adult turtles are very likely to survive from one year to the next. Indeed, turtles have an impressively long life for such small animals.

Most other species can live for more than 20 years. There are about species of turtles throughout the world, inhabiting a great variety of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems on every continent except Antarctica and its waters. In Canada, eight native species of freshwater turtles and four species of marine turtles can be observed.

Another species, the Pacific Pond Turtle Clemmys marmorata , is now Extirpated, having disappeared from its Canadian range. Also, the Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina has either such a small population that it is nearly Extirpated, or the few individuals found in Canada are actually pets released in the wild. More research is needed to know if these turtles are still native individuals. Finally, the Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans , has been introduced to Canada as released pets and, thus, is not a native species. Females tend to be slightly larger than males but are otherwise identical.

As its name implies, it is pale tan to reddish or dark brown with a slightly paler belly, and ears and wings that are dark brown to black. Contrary to popular belief, Little Brown Bats, like all other bats, are not blind. Still, since they are nocturnal and must navigate in the darkness, they are one of the few terrestrial mammals that use echolocation to gather information on their surroundings and where prey are situated. The echolocation calls they make, similar to clicking noises, bounce off objects and this echo is processed by the bat to get the information they need. These noises are at a very high frequency, and so cannot be heard by humans.

Narwhals Monodon monoceros are considered medium-sized odontocetes, or toothed whales the largest being the sperm whale, and the smallest, the harbour porpoise , being of a similar size to the beluga, its close relative. Males can grow up to 6. Females tend to be smaller, with an average size of 4 m and a maximum size of 5. A newborn calf is about 1. Like belugas, they have a small head, a stocky body and short, round flippers. Narwhals lack a dorsal fin on their backs, but they do have a dorsal ridge about 5 cm high that covers about half their backs.

This ridge can be used by researchers to differentiate one narwhal from another. It is thought that the absence of dorsal fin actually helps the narwhal navigate among sea ice. Unlike other cetaceans —the order which comprises all whales—, narwhals have convex tail flukes, or tail fins.