Urban wildlife update: Lions, tarantulas and oarfish

Spider and web last week at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. LA Observed


cougar-day-color-martinez.jpgThe latest catch on Robert Martinez's trail cams above Glendora in the San Gabriel Mountains includes a female mountain lion out and about during the day (in color), two lions continuing to feed on the deer we posted about recently and a golden eagle picking at the carcass. Martinez is the photographer whose cougar, bear and deer videos we told you about in September. YouTube

  • The National Park Service still hasn't said if it identified the mountain lion killed while crossing the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) at Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills this month. A necropsy is being performed, says Agoura Hills Patch.
  • Los Angeles Magazine executive editor Matt Segal talks with writer Mike Kessler about his story in the November issue on P-22, the Santa Monica Mountains cougar who somehow made his way to Griffith Park and is living there. Sample:
Godzilla versus Mothra. The ghost cat versus a black bear. Which is the more badass apex predator in our local mountains?

Mountains lions, hands-down. As a Fish and Wildlife agent told me, the bears here in SoCal are “pigs in fur coats.” Scavengers. Lions are quicker, quieter, far more badass. All they have to do is clamp down on the neck for long enough to pierce a windpipe. And that’s that. A lion on a bear is like one of those crazed UFC fighters attacking someone in a wheelchair.

Watching footage of mountain lions, it’s pretty amazing how easily they can drag a large deer. It’s like a big Kong toy.

Seriously. My terrier-chihuahua mix has a harder time jumping onto the couch with his rope toy.

  • October is the month when you're most likely to see a tarantula out walking around during the day. Just in case you were wondering. It's the males out looking to mate that you would see. You might spot one of our three or four known tarantula species just about anywhere — the wilder the trail the better, of course — but some local suggestions from SoCal Wild include Griffith Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Eaton Canyon Natural Area and the Audubon Center at Debs Park.

Video: Tarantula on the trail in Orange County.

  • The spectacle of two dead oarfish washing up so close to each other in time got Ken McAlpine thinking about all the new species that are being recorded: "In and out of the sea, biologists are discovering new species at the rate of about fifty a day." SoCal Focus

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Fauna stories on LA Observed:
LA Observed Notes: Media notes, homeless ruling, scooters and lion cubs
Four lion kittens found and tagged in Simi Hills
Night of the living scorpion
Stunning: Mountain lion family on camera in the San Gabriels
Why we never see a movie where the dog dies
Cubs P-57 and P-58 have died in the Santa Monicas
New male lions: Meet P-55 and P-56
P-51 found dead on freeway where mother and other cub died