Science & Nature

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Grizzly bears find fall feast in well-traveled moths

A raven waits nearby as a grizzly bear digs among rocks on a talus slope while searching for moths to eat.

As aspen leaves turn the gold of fall, grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area endure the final mania of their annual feeding frenzy before winter’s hibernation. The omnivorous bears compulsively pack on the pounds with berries, fish, carrion, whitebark pine seeds and a food unique to the Rocky Mountains—thousands of army cutworm moths. Also known as miller moths, they are the adult form of an agricultural pest, the army cutworm, which migrates to mountain fields in early summer to feed on alpine flowers’ nectar. During the past 30 years, a handful of researchers have established the importance of moths as a food source for bears. Continue Reading →

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New field seminars highlight fall, winter programs from Yellowstone Association

The nonprofit Yellowstone Association Institute is offering an array of new fall and winter field seminars in addition to its line-up of private tours and other multi-day packages with guided field trips by day and in-park lodging provided by two Xanterra-operated winter lodges by night. This winter the institute will conduct 35 field seminars, including eight new programs. Continue Reading →

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Jackson Hole students help with trout research project

Nearly 200 Jackson Hole Middle School seventh grade students joined biologists and others from Grand Teton National Park, Trout Unlimited, Teton Science Schools and Wyoming Game and Fish earlier this week to help with a trout research project. The Adopt-a-Trout Field Days at the Gros Ventre Campground on September 24 and 25 saw students rotate through educational stations conducted by various event partners. Continue Reading →

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Elk migration project wins Camp Monaco prize for biodiversity research, education

An elk pauses in the light of dawn near Sylvan Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

The path to completion for many research and education proposals is often complex and baffling, and a new project to study and document elk migrations around Yellowstone National Park is no exception. It has connections with the most famous man in the world, touches on the inspirational story of a rotting whale and finds fruition through a century-old family legacy involving European royalty. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone’s Heritage and Research Center houses skulls, scooters, skins, sketchbooks

The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. hosts archives and other resources researchers use to learn about Yellowstone National Park science and history.

Most visitors come to Yellowstone National Park to see the abundant wildlife, amazing thermal features or sweeping scenic vistas. But the park also has more than 300,000 cultural and natural artifacts, including skulls, scooters, skins and sketchbooks. Yellowstone's Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Mont. is a 32,000-square-foot facility that houses the park's museum collection, archives, research library, herbarium and archaeology lab. Continue Reading →

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Steamboat geyser, world’s tallest, erupts in Yellowstone after 8-year lull

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, the tallest active geyser in the world, erupts in 1963.

The world's tallest active geyser has erupted in Yellowstone National Park for the first time in eight years, sending a steam-powered jet of excitement through geyser gazers who consider it one of the most special eruptions to behold. The water from Steamboat can reach as high as 300 feet, with steam from that spray reaching even higher. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the torch to the ground below its pedestal. Continue Reading →

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An 1880s tale of catching and cooking a fish on same line in Yellowstone

Fishing Cone in Yellowstone National Park.

Many Yellowstone Park tourists have described places where an angler can catch a fish and cook it in a nearby hot spring without taking it off the hook, but few report actually doing it. Henry J. Winser described performing the feat in his 1883 guide for tourists. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Geyser Report for January: Longer days make winter viewing more productive

Old Faithful Geyser erupts on the morning of Dec. 19 as seen from the National Park Service webcam.

The geysers and other thermal features of Yellowstone National Park make up a vast, complex and dynamic collection of constantly changing natural wonders. A wide range of amateur hobbyists and professional geologists and hydrologists regularly track the activities and changes in Yellowstone’s thermal features and post their findings at various sites online. Here’s a look at thermal activity in December 2012 and January 2013. Continue Reading →

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