Definitions Vomerine – a thin flat bone dividing the nostrils found in most vertebrates. Paratoid/parotoid gland – a gland found on the neck, back, or shoulder of toads that secretes an alkaloid toxin that deters predators. It is also called bufotoxin and acts as a neurotoxin. Tibia – a strong bone in the leg of […]
Missouri Seeps and Springs
Missouri Springs Geology The majority of Missouri springs originate in the dolomitic rock mass that makes up the majority of the Ozarks (Vineyard et al, 1982). Dolomite, also referred to as dolostone, is a sedimentary rock with calcium magnesium carbonate (CaMg(CO3)2) as its primary constituent. Dolomite forms through the chemical alteration of limestone. As result, […]
Missouri’s Weather and Climate
Note: Safety tips will be underlined. Weather Given its inland location, Missouri is highly prone to temperature extremes (Decker, 2015). Missouri consequently deals with inclement weather quite regularly. Missouri is affected in some capacity by the following: Storms and Thunderstorms A storm is a disturbance in the weather, which can arise from local surface heating […]
Turtles of Missouri
Introduction: Turtles and tortoises form the oldest living group of reptiles on earth; fossil evidence suggests that turtles were alive during the Triassic Period, which was over 200 million years ago. They have evolved little since this time and remain well-adapted for a variety of different environments; in fact, turtles can be found on every […]
A guide to a certain grayish-brown American mammal with a foxlike face, black mask, and ringed tail.
A guide to this medium-sized, moderately fast growing, aromatic tree with three distinctive leaf shapes.
A guide to this small minnow, also called the common creek chub, found in the eastern United States and Canada.
Southern Red-backed Salamander
A guide to the identification, distinguishing traits, life history, and distribution of this small woodland salamander.
Dark Eyed Junco
A guide to these small sparrows that flit about Western forest floors and flood the rest of North America in winter.
Common Grasses of Missouri
A guide to a few of the most common species of grass found in Missouri, including a printable identification card.
Common River Fish of Missouri
A guide to some of Missouri’s most common large river fish.
Identifying Traits and Classifying Species of Missouri Spiders
A guide to identifying key traits and classifying eight species of spiders found in Missouri.
Wildflowers in the Asteraceae family commonly found in Missouri
A guide to wildflowers in the Asteraceae family commonly found in the state of Missouri.
Invasive Species of Missouri
A guide for identifying invasive and potentially harmful species throughout Missouri.
Crayfish of the Prairie Region of Missouri
A guide to the identification, anatomy, and importance of a seven different Missouri crayfish species.
The Stars that Guide Us
A guide to stargazing, navigation, visible meteorological events, light pollution, and star legends.
Geology of Missouri
A guide to the geologic history and structures of Missouri, including folds, joints, and faults.
Damselflies of Missouri
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Subphylum: Hexapoda Class: Insecta Order: Odonata Suborder: Zygoptera Identification Like dragonflies, damselflies have two sets of wings. What sets them apart is that all four wings of the damselfly are identical in shape and are wider at the tip, they also taper inward where they connect to the body (think of a teardrop shape). The most obvious […]
Venomous Snakes of Missouri
If a Missouri snake is venomous: It is in the pit viper family – it will have a distinguishable pit between each eye and nostril. These pits, sometimes referred to as loreal pits or fossa, are used as infrared-detecting organs, allowing the viper to sense its prey. Its pupils will be vertical slits. It will […]
Carnivora of Missouri
Missouri is home to 13 species of carnivore ranging from the tiny least weasel, weighing a mere 2 ounces, to the 240 pound black bear (Hunter 2011, Reid 2006). Carnivore in the scientific sense of the word refers not simply to a species that eats meat, but to a species belonging to the order Carnivora. Species that fall […]
Suborder: Myomorpha (mice, rats, gerbils, jerboas, and relatives): Superfamily Dipodoidea: Family Dipodidae (birch mice, jerboas, and jumping mice): Genus: Zapus Meadow jumping mouse – Z. hudsonius Superfamily Muroidea: Nearly every species of myomorpha within Missouri fall under the superfamily Muroidea. Members can be found on every continent except Antarctica, and they live in a wide […]
Suborder: Castorimorpha (beavers, gophers, kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and relatives): Family Castoridae (beavers): Genus: Castor North American beaver – C. canadensis North America’s largest rodent. Beavers are semiaquatic (Reid 179). Homes are made along lakes, rivers, streams, sometimes ponds, and even swamps. Well known for making dams, beavers will typically do this in lakes and […]
Suborder: Hystricomorpha (hystricognath rodents): Family Myocastoridae (coypus): Genus: Myocastor Coypu – M. Coypus Native to South America, the Coypu has been introduced to both North America and Europe where the animal is commonly known as the Nutria. They resemble muskrats, however Nutria are significantly larger weighing anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds. A surefire way […]
Native Americans & Sustainability in Missouri
A commentary on Smith’s review of premeditated and coincidental sustainability practices in pre-Columbian times.
Biogeography of Missouri
Find out more about the geographical distribution of flora and fauna across the Show Me state.
Geology in Missouri
Dig beneath the surface and discover Missouri’s rich geological history of volcanic calderas.
Biodiversity in Missouri
Case studies of three common Missouri species that emphasize the importance of the state’s biodiversity.
Trapping in Missouri
Comprehensive summaries of two articles about trapping from the Missouri Conservationist journal.
An overview of the pollinator deficiency and a call for the agribusiness industry’s restoration of natural ecosystems.
Mining in Southeast Missouri
Learn more about the history, processes, regulatory controls, environmental effects, and facilities of Missouri mining.
The Great Flood of 1993
Information on the impact of one of the most costly and devastating floods in United States history.
Types of Streams & Effects on the Watershed
Want to know the difference between a perennial stream, an ephemeral stream, and an intermittent stream?
Elk in Missouri
Elk lived in Missouri until 1865. Nearly 150 years after their extirpation, citizens began pushing for their restoration.
Lewis and Clark’s Expedition Timeline
Their journey to the Pacific was difficult, but they stayed sane by recording their thoughts and experiences.
River Otter Rehabilitation in Missouri
Habitat destruction and overhunting nearly drove the species to extinction, but their populations are on the rise.
Missouri’s Natural Areas (Video)
Turn back the clock and take a short tour of Missouri’s untouched and diverse natural wonders!
Glades of Missouri
Everything you need to know about these rocky island ecosystems featuring unique flora and fauna.
Black Bears in Missouri
Habitats, attributes, behavioral patterns, history, and ancestry of Missouri black bears, along with a tracking guide.
Common Trees of Missouri
Examples and descriptions of common Missouri trees from each family, along with a guide to leaf identification.
Edibles of Missouri
Identification and advice about four of the most common wild, edible plants of Missouri.
Raptors of Missouri
Background knowledge necessary for learning the raptors of Missouri.
Butterflies of Missouri
A general introduction to major butterfly groups, appearances, food plants and habitats in Missouri.
Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets of Missouri
A field guide to ten species of Missouri birds in the order ciconiiform and family ardeidae.
Guide to Studying Geologic Rock in the Field
Dean Jenn Smith’s step-by-step guide to studying geologic rock in the field.
Native and Invasive Fish Species of Missouri
A guide to the physical characteristics, locations, and environmental effects of native and invasive fish of Missouri.
Winter Birds in Missouri
A guide to birds that migrate to Missouri’s freshwater marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, tundra, fields, and woods.
Glycoside Plants of Missouri
Here’s how to identify seventeen poisonous Missouri plant species that contain glycoside.
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Missouri
A guide to common dragonflies and damselflies of Missouri, along with dragonfly anatomy, color, and collecting.
Freshwater Mussels of Missouri
Freshwater mussel history, life cycle, reproduction, biology, habitat, shell characteristics, conservation, and more.
Orthoptera of Missouri
A guide to Orthoptera, an order of insects that includes grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids.