caterpillar on milkweed

The World of Insects

It’s common knowledge that monarch butterfly caterpillars eat only milkweed, but did you know that many other insects also feed exclusively on this host plant? Munched milkweed leaves could also be the work of (among other things) milkweed tussock moth caterpillars (Euchaetes), milkweed longhorn beetles (Tetraopes), milkweed weevils (Rhyssomatus), or swamp milkweed leaf beetles (Labidomera […]

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lichen on a large tree

The Tree of (Survival) Knowledge

Since the dawn of time, humans have enjoyed an essential relationship with trees. They provide for the human necessities of food, fire, and shelter, as well as a myriad of other uses. But the trees themselves are also hosts to countless resident organisms, virtually all of which can be harnessed by the resourceful survivalist. In […]

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Ecological Interactions and the Bullfrog

Amphibians are key players in ecosystems on every continent except Antarctica. They contribute to both terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling and energy flows that hold ecosystems together. In particular, they are excellent and efficient converters of food energy into growth and reproduction and serve as both predators and prey. Tadpoles, for example, convert detritus (decaying […]

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Finding the North Star

The North Star Points True North Knowing how to find the North Star in the northern hemisphere is one of the most basic survival skills. Those of us in the north are fortunate to have the North Star as a handy survival tool for determining direction without a compass. Visible from the surface of the […]

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Bee Sting Treatment and Remedies

Sometimes the smallest thing can be the biggest problem. One of these tiny problems comes in the form of bees—specifically bee stings. Even if you are not severely allergic to bee stings, it can still be an annoyance with some people experiencing swelling and itching of the site. Whether you are at home in the […]

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Bird Skeletons and Avian Physiology

Before the advent of airplanes, people mimicked the design of bird skeletons in hopes of achieving the freedom of flight. A great many flapping and gliding contraptions were conceived and tested, endeavors that yielded only a sense of disappointment and a few good lessons about flight dynamics. Others involved in similar experiments were far less […]

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Bird Wings – What’s on a Wing?

For those of us who pursue the mysteries of feathers, and bird wings, questions are numerous and answers are hard to come by. Even a seemingly simple question such as, “Who dropped this feather?” can be a daunting one. With over 900 bird species living in the United States and Canada, it is hard to […]

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