Do amebelodon really have two sets of tusks (upper and lower) or do they just have big teeth on the bottom?

Question Answered by Sue Miller, Paleontologist “Shovel-tuskers” Way cool! They are ancient, now extinct, cousins of elephants. Their nickname comes from the shape of their large, flat and extended lower incisors and small upper tusks – instead of long and curved upper tusks like mammoths, mastodons, and modern elephants. They were about the size of…

I read an article about how kokanee eat and I’m confused. What is a gill raker? And how does the food get from the gill raker into the fish’s stomach?

Answered by Gregg Losinski, Conservation Educator First things first.   In Idaho, when we are talking about kokanee, we are actually talking about the same fish that we also call a sockeye salmon.   These are the fish that are famous for turning bright red when the time comes for them to spawn.  (Spawning is the way…

Are there any ecological impacts from the dam and power plant system in Idaho Falls, especially relating to fish movement across the concrete barrier at the Broadway Bridge?

Great question about dams!   While dams change the ecological makeup of any river that they are placed in, their biggest impact for fish comes in relation to movement.  Unless a dam is specifically built to allow fish to move both downstream and upstream, it becomes a barrier.  To some fish this is more critical than…

How do birds fly so long without getting tired?

Answered by Doug Halford, Wildlife Biologist, INL ESER Program Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate. Migration carries high costs in predation and mortality, including from hunting by humans, and is driven primarily by availability of food. It…