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Archive for October 2016
Halloween Fashion: Lots Of Animals Are In Orange And Black Tonight
It’s almost Halloween, the time for orange and black: orange-and-black costumes, orange-and-black decorations, even orange-and-black candies. People favor these colors because they’re a seasonal tradition—or perhaps because they’ve watched a certain prison drama on Netflix! But what prompts some animals to cloak themselves in orange and black? It’s Not Just…

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What Makes Bats, Spiders And Owls So Scary?
In most people’s minds, Halloween means vampires and witches, bats, owls and spiders. Even the mere mention of these creatures sends shivers through some folks. Vampires and witches—a fear of them is understandable. But what is it about bats, owls, and spiders that makes people associate them with evil? One…

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November’s Skies Make For Perfect Stargazing
November brings two sets of meteor showers, the Taurids and the Leonids. These are concentrations of so-called shooting stars emanating from specific points in the sky—the constellations Taurus and Leo, respectively. A meteor is not a star but a bit of dust or rock burning up as it enters Earth’s…

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The Wrong-Way Bat That Migrates Up NORTH For The Winter!
It’s a mistake to think that all of our fall migrants travel south. A few species move in other directions. The Gray Bat is one such contrarian. Rather than seek out warmth, the Gray Bat prefers a nice chill for the winter and will leave its comfortable summer cave for…

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Why Do Crows Gather In Large Roosts During Fall and Winter?
Steve Bailey is a bit of an exception. Whereas most people in Danville, Illinois, wish the crows now in their midst would find themselves another winter home, he welcomes the visitors with open arms. He’s a bird lover, of course, and proud to live in the unofficial Winter Crow Capital…

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Tarantulas Are Out On Halloween, But Not For Trick or Treating!
Halloween is almost here and lots of folks are thinking about spiders such as tarantulas—as well as bats, ghouls and other scary creatures. But it turns out that tarantulas have a lot more on their mind this month than trick or treating. It’s mating time for tarantulas. And the story…

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What Makes Fall Leaves Change Color From Green To Red, Yellow And Gold?
Sometime between now and the middle of November, the trees in North America’s eastern broadleaf forests will reach their full fall glory. From Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and New Hampshire’s White Mountains to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond, leaf peepers will bring traffic to a standstill on beautiful fall weekends. By…

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What Hapens To Birds Caught In Hurricanes Like Matthew?
Hurricane Matthew is making its way towards the US East coast after hitting Haiti and Cuba with some of the highest sustained winds and rainfall totals in recent memory.    While Matthew’s wind, rain and storm surge will certainly affect many people, some folks are also wondering about the effects…

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Autumn’s Bounty Can Turn Some Carnivores Into Carb-loving Vegans!
What would you expect a Grizzly Bear to eat when fattening up for winter? Caribou? Salmon? How about a nice fruit salad? Yes, some of our most celebrated carnivores become vegetarians in the fall. Even the largest terrestrial predator, the Grizzly Bear, turns into a berry specialist at this time…

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Fall Is Arriving Fast…  How Does Wildlife Adapt To Shorter Days?
With the fall equinox behind us and fall well underway in most of the United States, we’re now seeing our days rapidly getting shorter.  Some of us like the change but it seems most folks aren’t too happy to see the days get cooler and nights get longer. Plants and…

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