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Watch for Woolly Bears

For me, fall officially arrives with the appearance of woolly bear caterpillars. These fuzzy black and brown caterpillars are the larva of the Isabella Tiger Moth. During the fall, the caterpillars seek shelter under bark and leaves where they remain protected from winter weather until the spring. Once warmer temperatures arrive, the caterpillar will spin a cocoon, then the adult moth emerges to begin the life cycle once again.

During these mild October days, woolly bears are quite visible crossing roads and you may see them crawling on the ground as you're walking in nearby parks or other natural areas. Many people believe that the width of the brown band can predict the severity of the coming winter, with a wide band indicating a mild winter. This idea came from an informal "study" by C. H. Curran, curator of entomology at AMNH. Beginning in 1948, Dr. Curran and his friends collected caterpillars at Bear Mountain State Park and measured their band widths. After eight years ...more ↓

Posted on October 24, 2013 12:10 PM by americanmuseumofnaturalhistory americanmuseumofnaturalhistory | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Long before he became the Conservation President, native New Yorker Theodore Roosevelt was an avid naturalist who loved the outdoors and kept detailed natural history notebooks.

Join us in celebrating the reopening of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial at the American Museum of Natural History with New York Is Wild! In this project, we’ll honor Theodore Roosevelt’s passion for nature by ...more ↓

This project is inspired by A Seasonal Guide to New York City's Invertebrates - we hope you'll use the monthly suggestions as an excuse to get outside, explore, and share the invertebrates you find with us. Check out the what else people are finding in New York in the New York City Species Guide!
10048 mini americanmuseumofnaturalhistory created this project on October 03, 2012

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