Wildlife Olympics

Yellowstone's wildlife are adapted to the park's harsh winters and rugged habitat. How have you adapted to your home? How have you adapted your home (or school desk or room or locker) to you?

Bison walk single file through deep snow
Yellowstone's bison are special, in part, because they survive harsh winters and are exposed to predators.

NPS / Jim Peaco


How do you compare to Yellowstone's wildlife?

Compare your answers to the following questions with your family:

A bison doesn’t feel cold until the temperature reaches -22ºF (-30ºC). Water freezes at 32ºF (0ºC). Your freezer at home is about 0ºF (-18ºC). At what temperature do you wear a jacket? __________

Bald eagles can spot moving rabbits from 1 mile away (1.6 km). Who in your family is best at spotting wildlife? __________

A wolverine can easily walk 15 miles (24 km) each day in search of food. How many miles can you walk in a day? __________ How far have you walked in Yellowstone? __________

A wolf can eat 20 pounds (9 kg) of meat at one sitting, that’s like eating 80 quarter-pound hamburgers. I think I can eat __________ hamburgers at one sitting.

A Uinta ground squirrel hibernates about 9 months out of each year. I can sleep __________ hours before I wake up hungry.

A large grey bird with a long yellow beak stands in marshy grass
This great blue heron can sleep standing up. Why do you think that is important for the heron?

NPS / Jay Elhard


Let's Move!

You will need:

  • a blindfold
  • a way to measure 25 yards (approximately 2 school buses)
  • a ruler or measuring tape to measure inches and feet
  • a timer (or a friend!)

A snowshoe hare can leap 10 feet (3 meters) in a single bound. I can jump __________ feet in one leap.

A bison can jump over a 6 foot (1.8 meter) fence. A mountain lion can jump 15 feet (4.5 meters) straight up into a tree. I can jump __________ inches vertically.

A beaver can hold its breath under water for up to 15 minutes. I can hold my breath for __________ seconds.

A great blue heron can sleep on one leg for over an hour. Blindfolded, I can stand on one leg for __________ seconds.

An owl has the ability to stare for hours. I can stare without blinking for __________ seconds.

A grizzly bear can smell a carcass from 2 miles (3.2 km) away. How far away can you smell food? __________

A pronghorn can sprint 60 miles (97 km) per hour or 25 yards (75 feet) in less than one second (.85 seconds). A bison can run 35 miles (56 km) per hour, or 25 yards (23 meters) in about 1.5 seconds. I can run 25 yards in _________ seconds.


More Information

Last updated: May 18, 2018

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PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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