I’m a wildlife photographer interested in learning the best time of spring to have an opportunity to find badger cubs?

Answered by Jamie Utz – Wildlife Diversity Biologist – Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game Southwest Region Thanks to a special feature of reproductive biology, seasonal patterns of torpor, and certain behavioral tendencies of American badgers (Taxidea taxus), this is tricky question to answer. Badgers mate in the late summer or early fall. But once…

I heard the first bear was spotted at Yellowstone! Does the length or severity of the winter change the hibernation length, especially for bears?

Answered by Gregg Losinski – ESER Education Specialist and Human/Bear Conflict Expert Hibernation is a fascinating adaptation that many animals use to survive when harsh extremes are part of their environment. We think of hibernation in relation to cold, but there is a parallel process called estivation that occurs during very hot temperatures and allows…

What is the fastest animal on two legs?

Answered by Emily Holschuh – Idaho Falls Zoo Volunteer Coordinator When we ask this question we often start searching for answers on the ground. But to accurately answer we’ll have to look up to the skies. The fastest two-legged animal is the Peregrine Falcon who reaches speeds of up to 240 mph! Peregrines can be…

Why does clay become hard and waterproof when it’s heated? Why does temperature affect different clays in different ways?

Question asked by Volunteers at the Idaho Art Lab | Answered by Dr. Paul Link, ISU Department of Geosciences The purest clay is made of the mineral kaolinite, KAlSi3O8. Ceramic clays also contain quartz and feldspar minerals. During the heating (firing) process to about 1400 degrees F, the feldspars melt, along with some of the…

We’re studying about the Hagerman horse fossil, which is Idaho’s state fossil. What other animals lived at the time Hagerman horses were alive?

Question Answered by Dr. Kari Prassack, Lead Paleontologist at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument The Hagerman Fossil Beds are part of the Pliocene Epoch (5.3-2.6 million years ago) and date from about 4 million to 3 million years ago. This is the time just before the ice ages of the Pleistocene Epoch, and Idaho was…