Condors aren't the most glamorous birds in the sky. I mean, after all: they feast on dead animal carcasses. The California condor did not escape the scrutiny of Charles Darwin, who described them as, “....disgusting birds, with their bald, scarlet heads, formed to revel in putridity.” But, while their dining habitats can be distasteful, they are magnificent.
The Western Banded Gecko, or Coleonyx variegatus, is no stranger to beating the heat. Their nocturnal lifestyle is ideal for the sizzling desert climate. You are more likely to encounter them on a night stroll under the stars than in the mid-day sun. Though many confuse the Western Banded Gecko with young Gila monsters, they are much smaller and lack venomous characteristics.
Is that a black bear cub? A badger? No, it’s a wolverine! Wolverines have distinct color patterns on their face, neck and chest making each individual animal unique, and are referred to as “skunk bears” by the Blackfeet Indians. Though their appearance leads most to believe them to be a relative of bears, they are the largest members of the weasel (mustelidae) family that exclusively live on land.
Humans weren't the only ones stocking up for a feast this month. Flying squirrels, which call a number of national parks home, have been busy with their own meals with winter coming.
The blue whale is one of the earth’s loudest (its song travels thousands of miles), longest-lived (80-90 year lifespan) and largest animals known to have ever existed. Though long and slender, with a tapered body and a small dorsal fin, blue whales measure in at up to 100 feet in length. These more than 200-ton leviathans are truly creatures to be reckoned with.
Gray wolves are fairly well-known to be loping about Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, and Isle Royale national parks. But they're also roaming the forests of Voyageurs National Park.
The classic picture of an owl is typically one associated with Halloween: large, nocturnal creatures with wide eyes and a wise mind. With Halloween here, it’s the perfect time to take a look into a lesser-known owl species that can be found in some national parks: the Burrowing Owl.
The piping plover, Charadrius melodus, sparks recreation area closures in many parts of the national park system drawing critics and champions all across the country and causing a much larger stir than its tiny size suggests.
Dotting the sandstone floors of the Colorado plateau are countless potholes -- shallow depressions that hold water only for short periods after rains. But during those wet periods, these potholes come to life with a variety of intriguing creatures, including fairy shrimp.