By Larry D. Mark and Edward L. Menning.
Would you be startled if you met a clowder of cats? Perhaps apprehensive if you encountered a sleuth of bears? What about a gaggle of geese? And, speaking of geese, if "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" here in the United States, would you say "what's sauce for the flyer is sauce for the boomer" in Australia?
What do all these strange words mean? Well, "clowder," "sleuth" and "gaggle" each refers to the name used for a group of that kind of animal. And "flyer" and "boomer" are the special names for the female and male kangaroo. All are terms we use for our animals.
Humans, through the ages, have developed a special bond with their animals. In many instances, particular and separate names have evolved for each sex, the young, and for that most magical time of all giving birth.
Animal terms and characteristics color our language. He's chicken and she's pigheaded, so where's the beef? She's catty, she's kittenish, she's just a pussycat. He's a bull in a china shop, he's lionhearted, but sometimes a turkey. She's a silly goose and he's a funny bird, but they're making calf eyes at each other, so it must be puppy love. Well, it's a dog's life ... frankly, we're kind of sheepish about the whole thing.
The tables and glossary are presented with the hope that you may learn something new and interesting, and have in one place some useful information on different kinds of animals and their lives.