P is for Pronghorn
Pronghorn are the fastest runners in Yellowstone and can sustain sprints of 45 to 50 miles per hour, an adaptation to outrun an extinct cheetah. They are the surviving member of a group of animals that evolved in North America during the past 20 million years. It is not a true antelope, though they commonly referred to as antelope.
Q is for Thermus aQuaticus
In 1966, Thermus aquaticus was discovered by a park researcher in a park hot spring. An enzyme later discovered in Thermus aquaticus made rapidly replicating DNA practical and is seen as the biggest advance in that process for replicating DNA. Amplifying a segment of DNA to a billion exact copies in a few hours gives a scientist enough material to seriously study it.
R is for Raven
Ravens are smart birds, able to put together cause and effect. Ravens are attracted to wolf kills and some have learned to follow wolves while they hunt. They wait until wolves finish at a carcass because ravens are not able to rip open thick skin.
S is for Sheep
All bighorn sheep have horns. The rings on horns can be counted to determine, though it is easier to count the rings on a ram. Most bighorn sheep in Yellowstone are migratory and move between winter and summer ranges.
T is for Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter swans are named for their call. They are the largest water bird in North America and have wingspans up to eight feet wide. In 2015, there were 23 trumpeter swans that lived in Yellowstone.
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Last updated: May 17, 2016