All posts in "Wildlife Survival"
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    Spring Safety Tips: How To Avoid Spring’s Hazards

    By David Simpson

    Mother nature shows no favorites. Although spring weather doesn’t necessarily bring to mind the types of perils that winter can present (such as avalanches and thin ice), dangers are always lurking that can jeopardize your health and safety.

    To ensure that your next expedition doesn’t get derailed, consider these quick tips that will keep you safe.

    Anticipate lightning

    With April showers comes lightning, unfortunately, and last year, nearly 30 people died from lightning strikes, according to the National Weather Service. Ensure that you don’t suffer the same fate by knowing when the bad weather is coming, and having a plan to avoid the electrical strike. “The most important component of lightning safety is prevention,” says Gates Richards, M.Ed., special program manager with the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute in Lander, Wyoming. “This involves knowing local weather patterns, anticipating oncoming storms, finding relatively low-risk locations and practicing a lightning drill before a storm.”

    If you know a storm is headed your way, evaluate the safe locations that are nearby. “Lower risk locations include low rolling hills,” Richards says. “These would be safer places for campsites.” If you’re caught in a lightning storm, a good rule of thumb is to avoid being, or being near, the tallest object in any given area, Richards says. “In the worst case scenario (being stuck in a lightning storm), you can assume a ‘lightning position,’ ” he says. This means you should insulate yourself from the ground, protect yourself from the weather, and stay small and low. “Disperse a group to minimize the chances of multiple casualties,” he says.

    If someone in your group does get hit by lightning, know that the symptoms aren’t as clear-cut as you see in the movies. “Lightning strikes can produce a wide range of injuries, ranging from trauma to neurological problems,” Richards says. “Provide supportive care, clean or splint any injuries, and evacuate anyone involved in a lightning strike. Neurological issues may have delayed onset, so it’s best to evacuate.”

    Deadly stings

    Spring allergies don’t just involve hay fever and runny noses—they can bring on the potentially deadly sting of bees, wasps and other insects that carry Hymenoptera venom, which is an allergy trigger for thousands of people.
    Most reactions to bee stings involve local swelling and itching, but for some people, systemic reactions such as anaphylaxis can strike, which could be deadly. If you’re traveling with someone who has a diagnosed Hymenoptera allergy, ensure that an epinephrine prescription is in your carry pack (typically in the form of an Epi-Pen).

    Deadly bites

    Anyone who has ever seen an old cowboy movie knows that the best way to treat a snakebite is to cut the bite, suck out the venom and spit it on the ground, right? Not so fast.
    This outdated advice can actually waste precious time that could be spent getting the victim to an emergency care facility.First, know that your chances of dying from a snakebite are not as high … Read the rest

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      How To Build A Long Term Survival Shelter

      By David Simpson

      Location, location, location. Any real estate expert will tell you that location is everything, and when building a shelter, the same rule applies. Shelter building is often key to your survival, but if done incorrectly, it can actually lead to your demise. Follow a few simple but essential tips and your structure will not only keep you safe from the elements but also comfortable.

      Location

      When looking at location, you’re not looking for proximity to shopping or schools, but instead you’re seeking safety and security. When seeking a spot to build your shelter, you should make sure it’s close to your building material. The act of building the shelter should be simple and done in such a way that you conserve calories that you’ll need later for tasks such as finding your dinner or creating a fire.

      In addition, you want to build your shelter in an area that’s naturally sheltered by the wind from other trees or materials, but is close enough to an open area that you can run out and be spotted by search and rescue aircraft if necessary.


      Be sure to look overhead to ensure that no immediate dangers lurk above you, such as dead trees or rocks that could fall on you or mud that could slide down upon you. You should set up your shelter on a flat piece of land with a little rise to it.

      This way, if a rainstorm arrives, the rain will have a place to go (down the hill) and you won’t find your shelter in a pool of water. And although you don’t want to construct your shelter too far from a water source, you also shouldn’t be right next to a creek or lake, because if a hard rain falls during the night, you could wake up surrounded by a wet, muddy mess.

      Should your shelter be ventless?

      When building your shelter, it can be difficult to decide whether to create venting or to keep the seals shut. The answer depends on your climate.

      If your shelter will be in a hot environment, you should build it in an area where the sun won’t hit it, but with enough venting so air can circulate. If, however, you’re in a cold climate, you want to seal as many areas as possible so the cold air can’t seep in.

      Know how to insulate

      Once you’re securely inside of your shelter, you want to create a simple “floor” of padding that will keep you from lying directly on the ground, which can be wet and therefore drain your body heat.
      Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to use fresh vegetation for your flooring. Your body weight will crush out the water and your clothing will simply absorb it, making you very uncomfortable. Instead, use dead grass, old pine straw, dead leaves or dry tree bark as your padding.

      Straw, wood and bricks

      The three little pigs learned which materials were best to withstand an … Read the rest

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        5 Ways On How To Make A Personal Floatation Devices ( With My 2 Own Persnal Tips )

        By David Simpson

        You awake to the mournful cry of seagulls. You sit up, look around at some of the lushest vegetation and the most pristine beach you’ve ever seen and realize you’re in paradise… even if you’re alone in the middle of the pacific.

        The 45-foot swells that ripped your cruise ship into pieces shattered your vacation, and now you find yourself here.

        Okay, unless you’re the next action star, the chances of being trapped on an island are small, but there are many situations in which you might have to cross dangerous waters in the wild.

        Sometimes understanding the dangers and knowing how to react can mean the difference between life and death. If you have little or no resources available, it doesn’t mean you have to be stuck on the shore.

        Consider these creative ideas to float across the waves to safety before you are cast away.

        Raft-Building 101

        1. In the wilderness and along most shorelines, tall sturdy grasses—like cattails and American dune grass—abound. These types of grasses are thick and strong, and they can be used as your rope to tie.
          Sadly, along most rivers and sea banks, a plethora of trash and waste debris, both natural and artificial, cover the area.
        2. This survivalist’s treasure can be sifted through to find the perfect base for your raft.
        3. If you want to make it particularly buoyant and can find them, tying a couple of milk jugs to your base will really keep it above the water.
        4. If grasses are not available, shoelaces, socks, belts, and necklaces can also make great rope.
        5. Securing your driftwood or other large object with the homemade ropes can take you across the waves to safety.

        Your options on building a personal floatation devices

        If you must cross water to get to a safe place, there are many things that can be turned into your lifesaver. Clothes, driftwood, empty containers, or even sticks and grasses can be formed into a raft.
        If you aren’t lucky enough to have an American Red Cross-certified flotation device, the Red Cross suggests these great alternatives.

        1. Clothes

          Clothes are usually the handiest and in warm weather are not necessary to cross water and retain body temperature. If you’re wearing pants, they can be easily and quickly modeled into a floating tube. First, tie the leg openings, pull up the zipper and button the waist.
          Next, wet the pants a little. Rapidly swing the pants to inflate with air, close the waistband tightly and quickly submerge them in the water.
          Consequently, you have the perfect inflatable to hold you above water. Another alternative is to keep your clothing on and inflate them on your body. “If you have a shirt on, you can blow into it down the neckline after securing it at the waistline, either by tying or tucking it into your pants,” says Janelle King, swimming instructor and former Red Cross-certified lifeguard. “The shirt will expand and help you float for short intervals.”

        2. Milk jugs, bags

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          Vital Emergency Symptoms For Surviving In Wilderness

          By David Simpson

          Murphy’s law states that if anything can go wrong, it will. So that’s why you must be prepared. Packing your own first aid kit before hitting the trail— whether you’re fleeing a disaster or going on a winter adventure—is imperative.

          Fighting bacteria with honey

          You may have adhesive strips in your survival medical kit, but if someone gets a cut, you also want to keep it sanitary so the patient doesn’t get an infection.

          In these cases, your first step will be to rinse the cut with water. “Whatever you’re using for drinking water will work to rinse out the cut,” says Rod Brouhard, a paramedic, the topic guide for About.com’s First Aid page and an author on disaster preparedness. “Once you’ve rinsed it, you should apply an antiseptic.

          If you didn’t bring one along, you can use natural honey, which can do double-duty as an anti-bacterial.” Any form of honey will work, Brouhard says, just be sure not to use it on children under one year of age, as it’s inadvisable for them to ingest honey.

          Consider these natural remedies

          Your outdoor maladies will be quelled quickly if you know a few cures that you can find in nature. Consider these tips from James Kellar, founder and head instructor at the Northeast Ohio Primitive Living and Wilderness School:

          • You can use moss as a bandage, Kellar says. Or try yarrow, a plant related to the chrysanthemum. “Yarrow will actually clot the wound,” Kellar says. “The wound will have to be kept clean and have new natural bandages applied a couple times daily.”
          • In cases of a sprain, you can make a splint out of branches and wrap it with natural cordage, Kellar adds. “If the person needs mobility help, they can create makeshift crutches to help them move.”
          • Have a headache? Consider herbal cures. You can use willow or aspen bark tea, which act as natural aspirins, he suggests.

          Hypothermia

          Understanding the symptoms of hypothermia can be complicated especially if you consider the fact that if you’ve ever uncontrollably shivered from the cold, you’ve already had it.
          “The symptoms of hypothermia range from mild to severe,” Brouhard says. “Mild is when you can’t stop shivering, so you’re already a little hypothermic once you begin to shiver and it’s sustained.”

          Does physical activity stop hypothermia

          When the feeling of hypothermia begins to set in, many people think it’s a good idea to increase their activity level to warm up their core body temperature, but that isn’t a complete cure, says para-medic Rod Brouhard.

          “That’s only sustainable for a while because you have to rest eventually,” he says. Therefore, if you know you’ll be stuck in the cold weather for a long period of time, you’re better off using that energy to start a fire and add layers to your clothing.

          As soon as your body temperature falls below 95 F, you are classified as being hypothermic. The next step of hypothermia moderate is … Read the rest

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            Forty Survival Tools You Can Make From Everyday Items

            By David Simpson

            Stuff happens. Whether you simply forgot some necessary items for your hiking or camping trip, or mother nature has decided to turn your world upside down, you can survive and thrive with a little ingenuity and creativity from some of the most mundane items you can imagine. “Anything has potential to help in a pinch even a piece of gum and its wrapper,” says Tim MacWelch, owner and operator of Advanced Survival Training, a wilderness survival school. “It’s beneficial to know alternative uses for a few items you might already have in your gear, as they can help you escape a sticky situation.”

            Water Bottles

            Whether plastic or metal, water bottles are common supplies for any outdoor activity. These seemingly simple items can help ensure you make it through a tough ordeal in the wild.

            1. Store Water When faced with a survival emergency, identifying a water source should be a first priority, as should determining the best way to transport and store it in camp. “Many people immediately think of what they’ll do for food, but water is much more important for long- term survival,” MacWelch says.
            2. Water Sanitation Not only are metal water bottles better for the environment, they provide a more effective means of disinfecting water. MacWelch recommends boiling water in a metal bottle for about 10 minutes before consuming rather than relying on solar disinfection, which uses the sun’s UV rays to kill germs.
            3. Dry Storage Wide-mouth bottles can be used to store smaller items such as matches or fish hooks, provided the inside is dry.
            4. Funnel The top half of a plastic water bottle makes an ideal funnel. Just cut off the top of the bottle.
            5. Fish Trap Remove the top of a plastic bottle, and invert it in the lower half to make a trap for smaller fish such as minnows that can be used as bait for larger fish.

              Via Wikipedia

            6. Flotation Device Large empty plastic bottles are highly buoyant.
            7. Shovel When cut at an angle, the top of a plastic water bottle, 2-liter or gallon jug can serve as an improvised shovel.
            8. Bug Trap If your campsite has bug problems, you can cut the top off of a 2-liter or gallon bottle, turn it inside out and place it back onto the bottom. Put an attractant (such as a cut apple or jelly) in the bot- tom of the bottle. The bugs will fly in through the spout, but they can’t get back out.
            9. Planter Interested in growing plants as part of your survival strategy? You can remove the bottom of a 2-liter soda bottle and plant flowers in it. Replace the top of the bottle to provide humidity for your seedlings.
            10. Twine Using sharp scissors, cut a plastic jug in a spiral motion to create a long string of plastic. You can use it to make a strong twine material.

            Five uses for a stick not all survival materials are man-made. You can use a sturdy stick for many purposes, including the … Read the rest

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              5 Tips On How To Survive A Cold Winter You Must Not Forget

              By David Simpson

              While they often center around adolescence, they do extend into Old Man Winter’s realm, too, as you’re about to see. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether some of the old wives’ tales about winter survival are true, you’ve come to the right place, as you’re better off knowing the answer before you’re faced with an actual survival situation.

              1. WIVES’ TALE: A spoonful of whiskey will make the frostbite go down

                THE TRUTH: One of the most common beliefs about staying warm in the cold is that drinking alcohol will keep you from getting hypothermia or frostbite.
                Unfortunately, however, this old wives’ tale is just that a myth. “Alcohol makes you feel warmer, but it doesn’t change the temperature of your body,” says Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft School in Masardis, Maine.
                If there’s any risk that you may be getting frostbite or hypothermia, Smith says, light a fire rather than opening a bottle of liquor.
                Not only will this ensure that you stay warm, but it will also allow you to keep your judgment intact should you face other issues that require quick thinking.

                The symptoms of frostbite

                Keep these signs in mind if you think you might have frost-bite. If you do have the symptoms, report to a medical facility immediately:

                • White or gray-ish-yellow skin
                • Skin that feels strangely firmor waxy
                • Numbness
              2. WIVES’ TALE: Pouring hot water over your hands will keep them warm

                THE TRUTH: Many cold winter adventurers have reported that they will pour warm water over their hands or even urinate on them to warm them up if they fear that frost-bite might be approaching.
                However Smith advises, this is not always the smartest idea. “If you’re ice fishing on a frozen lake and you have a thermos of warm water with you, it’s a bad idea to just pour that over your hands,” he says.
                You’re wasting your warm water supply and you now have wet hands that won’t stay warm for more than a few minutes unless you have warm, dry gloves to put on them.
                If, however, you have a fire where you can continually reheat the water, you can soak your hands in the water as long as it stays warm, because a warm soak can help your hands thaw, as long as you keep your clothes dry during the process.
                In addition, Smith says, if you already have frostbite, do not try and warm your skin by rubbing or massaging it without professional help. “The first nip you get initially in your fingers when it’s cold outside is usually not a big deal that’s just a warning that you need to get warm,” he says. “But if you get third-degree frostbite where tissue is actually frozen, then the last thing you want to do is reheat it.
                Not only will the heat increase the danger of sepsis and gangrene, but it will be incredibly painful.” Instead, people with frostbite should go to the hospital immediately

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                How To Find Sources Of Water In The Desert

                By David Simpson

                1.Look for critters

                Just like you, animals need water every day to ensure that they stay healthy. If you see an animal nearby, you know that water isn’t far away, says Brandon Garrett of The Ready Store, which offers emergency preparedness solutions. Likewise, vegetation is a good sign that water is near, since most plants require it to stay alive, he adds.

                If you don’t catch sight of plants or animals, you should note whether mosquitoes are biting, because they are another indicator that water isn’t far away.

                However, make sure the mosquitoes aren’t simply gathering around stagnant water, which is typically unsafe to drink. “If you’re looking for water over long distances, look where the birds are circling,” Garrett says. “They’ll often circle around waterholes.”

                Silver is not gold: Where You Won’t Find Water

                The “advice” you get from the silver screen isn’t always golden. Plants indicate water is nearby, but it isn’t always possible to cut one open and drink from it … despite what the movies show.

                If you need to drink from a cactus, locate a barrel or prickly pear cactus, both of which contain a pulp that can provide you with water.

                2.Look in unlikely spots

                If you don’t see water nearby, don’t panic you might be able to find it with a bit of effort. If you are in a low elevation, you should be able to dig a hole until water appears, Garrett says. “However, being at higher elevations doesn’t necessarily mean that you can dig down and automatically find water,” he says. Instead, he advises, you can look for water in valleys or crevices of rocks, where it tends to accumulate.

                Although plants indicate that water is nearby, it isn’t always possible for you to cut one open and drink from it, despite what you see in movies. “A popular myth is that you can drink any water from a cactus,” Garrett says. “But cacti often store water in a gooey  juice that isn’t fit for human consumption.

                Consider these unlikely water sources

                If you’re desperate for a drink, the last thing you’ll want to do is eat something, because it may make your throat dry—and your body utilizes water in digestion, which you don’t have to spare.

                However, some foods can actually provide you with water. Check out this list of water-dense foods, all of which have a water content of more than 90 percent. If you happen to pass some growing in the wild, consider stopping for a snack:

                If you need to drink from a cactus, locate a barrel or prickly pear cactus. They both contain a pulp that you can eat to provide you with water. Make sure that the juice is clear before you eat the pulp.” Other plants also contain water, and you can get to it by crushing the plant until water leaks out.

                However, ensure that the plant isn’t poisonous first and that it hasn’t been treated with pesticides, … Read the rest

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                  7 Tips For Extreme Weather Survival Guide

                  By David Simpson

                  The ferocity of Mother Nature. From her bone-chilling cold to her oppressive heat, she can be deadly. In addition to staying hydrated, the most important tool you need to cope with extreme heat or cold is the same thing—your clothing. “Heat and cold are the No. 1 killers in any survival situation,” says Robert Allen, president and head instructor at the Sigma 3 Survival School in Arkansas.

                  If you’re in an extreme weather situation and don’t have access to a store for gear, your clothing can serve multipurpose uses in both weather extremes, if you know how to repurpose them for additional functions. Following are some tips that can save your life.

                  1. Beat the heat

                    If you’re ever stuck in the sun without access to shade, use your clothes to shade you, Allen says. You can wet your clothing and wrap it around your head and neck to stay cool when necessary, or you can rig your clothes to create a small tent that will shade you from the sun. “Shelter is the biggest priority any time you’re trying to survive,” he says. “Not just if you’re trying to keep out of cold weather, but just as important if you’re avoiding the sun. You need to stay fully covered, because you can bake yourself in a heartbeat if it’s hot outside and you aren’t covered.”

                  2. Fight the cold

                    If you find yourself facing particularly cold temperatures and you don’t have the right gear to stay warm, you can make it yourself.
                    “Anything that causes dead air space is basically insulation,” Allen says. “You’ve got your base shelter, which is your clothing—then you take that and fill it with grass or whatever is around you to create that dead air space. If you stuff enough dead leaves or pine needles into your clothes, you’ve made your own sleeping bag or parka, and that can retain a lot of heat and keep you warm.”

                  3. Prepare for fluctuation

                    No matter what the circumstances, you should be ready to adjust your strategy once the sun goes down. “I spent a year in Iraq and saw temperatures upwards of 130 degrees during the day,” Allen says. “Then in the evening it can go down into the 80s—which doesn’t seem that low, but that quick fluctuation is a massive shock to your system.” Therefore, before the sun sets, you should have your insulation ready to put into your clothing, and remove any wet gear so you don’t get the chills at night.

                  4. Additional essentials

                    Three items you don’t want to forget, no matter what the weather is, are a knife, fire starter and water, Allen says. The knife can help you cut branches to create a shelter or make a fire, among myriad other uses. The fire starter will help you create warmth and a cooking area effortlessly, and the water is a must for your survival.

                  5. Water conservation paramount in both heat and cold

                    Most people know how important it

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                    Potable Water Is A Survival Essential

                    By David Simpson

                    Without water, life on this planet would not be possible. But the vast majority of the water on the planet is not potable; only 3 percent is drinkable. Most of that is in underground aquifers or trapped in snow and ice where it’s not readily accessible to humans. The rest is saltwater, which might as well be poison for we humans. In the backcountry of North America, water is usually a readily available commodity, as the climate of most of the wilderness is perfect for streams, creeks and rivers. Finding water in more arid regions—such as the Southwest or the dry cold regions of the north—can be challenging, but not impossible.

                    1.DANGEROUS WATER

                    Regardless of its source and despite desperation, be wary of any water you come across. Without proper treatment, any water might be loaded with bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worm eggs or chemical contaminants.

                    1.1. Potential Toxins: Bacterial spores such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli; viruses such as rotavirus, Norwalk virus, and hepatitis A parasitic worms like tapeworms and flukes; and industrial toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium all lead to unhealthy and potentially deadly drinking water.

                    1.2. Parasitic Protozoa: The complex parasitic protozoa are especially prevalent in almost all water found in nature. Many, including Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Entamoeba histolytica, transform from free-living forms into dormant but highly infectious cysts when expelled in the host’s feces.

                    1.3. Giardia Lamblia: Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite that enters the water via the feces of mammals and then attaches itself in the small intestines when people drink that water.
                    It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloating and weight loss.

                    1.4. Cryptosporidium Parvum: Cryptosporidium Parvum is another protozoa species that populates fresh water in North America via the same method as Giardia. The result of ingesting water infected with C. parum is tremendous diarrhea.

                    2.DEHYDRATION

                    Humans can go without water for only a few days. High and low temperatures, a lack of shade, dry or windy conditions, and other factors can further reduce the amount of liquid reserves left in the body and dramatically reduce the time available for waterless survival.

                    2.1. Salt Buildup: When too much salt is in your system, water is leached from individual cells to compensate for and correct the imbalance. The body fights this by urinating to remove the salt, so we urinate more water than we drink. The result is dehydration.

                    2.2. Efects of Fluid Loss: The body compensates for the fluid loss by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels to maintain blood pressure and flow to vital organs. Eventually, you’ll feel nausea, weakness and delirium. As you become more dehydrated, the brain and other organs receive less blood, which leads to coma, organ failure and eventually death.

                    2.3. Common Signs of Dehydration: Some symptoms of dehydration are dark odiferous urine, darkened skin around the eyes, unusual fatigue, loss of skin elasticity and a deep line down the center of the tongue.

                    2.4. Prevent Dehydration: Even when … Read the rest

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                      Unlocking The Hygienic Properties Of Plants In Nature

                      By David Simpson

                      Day 16: Scratched on the thin skin of a dried piece of agave leaf, you scribble another entry into your journal, kept daily since the crash. Alone, hot, thirsty and dirty, you’ve collected the grime and sweat of the past 15 days.

                      Your teeth and tongue are covered with a thick film that tastes acrid, and you smell badly. Your hair is oily, tangled and itchy from irritations, perhaps because of the fleas embedded in the pelt of a javelina you skinned two days before.

                      Food is not an issue in the windswept desert; however, being constantly surrounded by your own filth is not only raising a concern for your physical health, it is weighing heavily on your morale. A disconcerting thought that remains with you is that more people have been killed by the tiniest microbes than all the world’s wars put together.

                      Why stay clean ?

                      Disease and illness can run rampant when the infrastructure of a community is paralyzed or destroyed; the first widespread calamity to rear its ugly head after a major disaster is disease, usually from contaminated water.

                      Overlooked countless times by survivalists and preppers are a bar of soap, bottle of shampoo, some antibacterial lotion and toothpaste—simple and cheap products that can literally mean the difference between life and death. Anytime you are away from civilization for any length of time, intentionally or not, consider taking with you products to keep yourself clean.

                      Not only does keeping clean help you maintain a healthy outlook about your situation, it also increases your confidence and gives you a comforting sense of normalcy in an abnormal scenario. A buildup of bacteria can harm a person’s health quickly, because those bacteria carry with them germs that are looking for a way to invade your body.

                      The bacteria on a person’s skin make their body stale, and it then begins to give out a bad odor. That’s a sign that potential illness is just around the corner. Washing your hands, feet and face can prevent the spread of germs from one person to another or from one part of your body to another. Similarly, flossing and brushing your teeth can reduce the likelihood of oral ailments.

                      What Is “Hygiene” ?

                      As a civilized adult, your concept of hygiene is all about cleanliness and tidiness: keeping your clothes laundered, your hair smelling fresh and clean, your teeth pearly white and your skin free of the day’s sweat and grime. Ask a microbiologist the very same question, and he or she will tell you that hygiene is a matter of avoiding germs and disease. Evidence of this is found throughout the animal kingdom. Ants groom themselves to remove fungal pathogens, and bats groom to remove skin parasites, as do many other mammals, fish and birds.

                      Mother primates have been observed wiping the behinds of their infants. Birds and mammals keep their nests free of fecal material, while raccoons, badgers, lemurs and tapirs use latrines that

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