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Archive for December 2011
Tonight’s Solstice Marks The Official Start Of Winter
The Winter Solstice, which occurs tonight, marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere (although it started a few weeks back for many folks!).  The solstice is actually a very specific event and time.  This year it’s at 5:30 AM Universal Time (what most of us used to call…

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How Do Polar Bears Catch Seals?
Polar Bears have been in the news a lot recently.  Coca-Cola has even changed its trade-marked red packaging to white to raise awareness of the threats that they are facing. One question we’ve heard from readers is: what do Polar Bears eat? Seal For Dinner Most folks who’ve had a…

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What Animal Has The Longest Lifespan?
If you’re a TV watcher, you may have noticed that the most recent iteration of the long-running TV show Survivor just wrapped up. But there’s a much more interesting version playing out in the wild. It’s one thing to survive a few weeks on a television show, but it’s quite…

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Was Rudolph Actually A Female Reindeer?
Each Christmas season we hear the story of the eight flying reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh all over the world in one night. And don’t forget Rudolph too! But what made Santa choose reindeer to help him accomplish this feat? Wouldn’t elephants, with their huge flappable ears, make a better…

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Are Christmas Poinsettias Really Flowers?
Poinsettias seem to be everywhere during the the holiday season— schools, homes, offices and everywhere in between. But how many of us have seen a poinsettia in the wild?  And what’s a plant doing blooming right as winter is beginning? Just where did this plant come from? What Exactly Is…

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Is Mistletoe Really The “Kiss of Death”?
Almost all of us have come across American Mistletoe, the white or green-berried parasitic plant hung in doorways during the holiday season to elicit kisses from those standing beneath it. Reputed to be the “kiss of death,” Mistletoe (the Phoradendron species is found in North America) is said by some…

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Cold Weather Machines—Chickadees Use All Kinds Of Tricks To Keep Warm
Though any bird that survives winter in the North amazes those of us that depend on furnaces and warm blankets, the black-capped chickadee may be the most incredible of all winter survivors. “Black-capped Chickadees have a wonderful assortment of adaptations for the winter,” said biologist Susan M. Smith, who has…

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It’s Easy To Participate In This Year’s Annual Christmas Bird Count
With thousands of birders joining forces all over the continent, the single biggest nature event of the year is upon us: the annual Christmas Bird Count. The tradition started in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed an alternative to the recreational hunting of birds that usually occurred on Christmas Day.…

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