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What You Need to Know about North Carolina for July 8, 2014

Animals you probably didn’t realize were so special, plus news from around the state.

Explaining North Carolina-Land Animals and Fossil

In our last note we learned what our wetland animals are. Now let’s get to the land animals. And the fossil that used to be a wetlander, until it became a fossil.

For animals that tend to stay away from water (and also don’t fly), we have a dog, a mammal and a marsupial.

Our state dog is the Plott Hound, named as the official state dog in 1989. His original home is in the mountains and this guy will tell you all you need to know about why his family started breeding them and what they mean to the state today. (We’ve also met him in person and can vouch for his awesomeness, the man that is. And one of his hounds). Check out what they look like below and head here for more information about them.

Plotthund Kynnagardens Ziggy Lundamo” by PlotthundOwn work Eget bildearkiv. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our next state animal is our mammal, who is the eastern grey squirrel. He was named as our fifth state symbol in 1969, after a survey of state schoolchildren by the state representative who suggested naming the squirrel as our state symbol. The representative also found the squirrel to be courageous and thrifty. The squirrel had already been legendary as both a food source and as a sign of good marksmanship. Because of the squirrel’s quick movements, anyone who could shoot down a squirrel was considered worthy  of battle, at least in the Revolutionary and War of 1812. You’ve probably seen it in your backyard if you live on the east coast and especially here in North Carolina, but here’s another picture below. Find out more about them here.

Eastern Grey Squirrel” by BirdPhotos.com – BirdPhotos.com. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our final living state land animal is our marsupial, which is the Virginia opossum. You have seen this animal and probably didn’t realize it was related to kangaroos. Just like kangaroos, the Virginian opossum carries her young in a pouch. And yes, these animals are the ones that are skilled at playing dead. They are also the only marsupials native to North America. He’s only been our state marsupial for just over a year, named along with several new state symbols in June of 2013. Get a good look at one below and find out more about them here.

Opossum 2” by Cody Pope – Wikipedia:User:Cody.pope. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our official fossil looks a lot like Jaws. <Cue the theme music>. The megalodon shark is said to have lived over 1.5 million years ago and was the largest shark that ever lived. Yeah, pretty much prehistoric Jaws. However, only its teeth are the official fossil. The fossil was named along with the state marsupial last June as our state fossil. Take a good look at the fossil below and learn more about it here.

Megalodon shark jaws museum of natural history 068” by Original uploader was Spotty11222 at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:FunkMonk using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

And now your news.

News Across NC for July 8 2014

Duke Energy is hoping to pay back less money to solar panel users.

High Point’s Skeet Club Road, a major thoroughfare of the ever growing north section of High Point , will finally get widened this year. There will be sidewalks.

More new apartments for Greensboro, on its northern end.

The troubled older condos in Greensboro will have the water turned off and maybe the power too, making them officially unlivable.

For this guy, Winston-Salem is cooler than Greensboro.

Greensboro’s retiring police chief could be Greenville, SC’s police chief.

The challenge to the new statewide election laws had its first hearing in federal court on Monday.

A sales-tax increase may go on the Wake County November ballot, depending on how the Wake County commissioners vote.

Transportation planners in Charlotte have plans for a cross-Charlotte bike trail.

Not many people are using the Charlotte transit bus service to the airport.

Some eastern North Carolina roads are being held up by the failure of the federal DOT to provide funds for them.

Wilmington officials have decided to work on fixing up derelict homes.

Several historic Fayetteville buildings will be torn down. They are decayed though.

A new road configuration is giving Spring Lake the opportunity to become a target for more development.

The folks who have filed recently to run for the Cumberland school board.

Fayetteville officials hope to expand their downtown farmers market site.

Why an Asheville area license plate agency closed.

Durham’s new school board has been sworn in.

And finally, Wilmington is in one of those competitions for a mystery company that promises to be awesome, employ a lot of people and build something new.

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