Winter life: Painted turtles
Ecology / Phenology / Wildlife

Winter life: Painted turtles

Common name: Painted turtle Scientific name: Chrysemys picta Winter Ecology: During late May to early July, female painted turtles dig nests and lay their eggs underground. Although the baby turtles hatch in late August or early September, the hatchlings will not leave the nest until the following spring. Before temperatures drop in early winter, the … Continue reading

Winter Life: Pronghorn
Ecology / Phenology / Wildlife

Winter Life: Pronghorn

Pronghorn are short, stalky, strong animals that are incredibly well-adapted for cold conditions, but very poorly adapted for deep snow conditions. Pronghorn hooves lack dew claws, which serve to increase surface area when walking on snow. Without this increased hoof surface area, pronghorn post-hole when walking in deep snow, requiring  an unsustainable amount of energy. … Continue reading

Winter Life: Frogs
Ecology / Phenology / Wildlife

Winter Life: Frogs

Poikilotherms, or cold blooded organisms, rely on behavior, not metabolism, to control body temperature. In the winter, this poses a great challenge as temperatures plummet below freezing. Exposure to below freezing temperatures can lead to ice formation, which is one of the greatest threats to cells, and thus survival. When ice forms within cells, it can … Continue reading

Winter survival
Ecology / Phenology / Wildlife

Winter survival

Animals survive winter through one of three general strategies: migrate, hibernate, or resist. Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages, and for every strategy, there are as many variations on the theme as there are animals that exist. Migration Migratory animals move to areas with more favorable conditions. These favorable conditions include greater food availability and … Continue reading