Lewis and Clark: Wildlife Discoveries

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On the incredible journey of Lewis and Clark many new animals were discovered. Maryweather Lewis was naturalist and explorer. He documented 11 birds, 11 mammals and 2 fish that were unknown to naturalists. He actually brought his trusty dog, Seaman along for the journey. Seaman was a 150 pound, big, black Newfoundland dog. He was very intelligent and was bought in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for $20. What cost $20.00 in 1800 would cost $260.40 now; today $260 is the average you would pay for a Newfoundland puppy. Seaman helped the crew find new animals, sometimes he would have to protect them for bears or coyote's.

Their journey begins starting in Missouri. The second day of the trip, May 15, 1804 they see a number of goslings on the shore. Ticks and mosquitoes are becoming an apparent nuisance. The clan heads to the Great Plains where most of the animals described were found. Such as the Buffalo or Bison (Bison bison) which was a big part through the trip for food and clothing. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were discovered for the first time. Elk (Cervus canadensis) Beaver (Castor canadensis) and Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana) were also some mammals described. Some birds that were described were Canadian geese (Branta canadensis), Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) was discovered for the first time. Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were also discovered for the first time by white people. All in the Great Plains.

On August 12, Clark saw what he had called a "Prairie Wolf" on the bank. The captains went ashore to bag, it but Clark sadly noted, "We could not git him". The animal was a coyote (Canis latrans). Lewis and Clark were the first men to record seeing one. Also in the only stretch of free-running River between Montana and St. Luis they spotted Geese, ducks and American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). In...
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