Burn, Beetle, Burn!

photo by Paul Horsted / DakotaPhoto.com

photo by Paul Horsted / DakotaPhoto.com

This weekend was the second annual Burning Beetle festival in Custer, South Dakota, a celebration in dishonor of the ravenous mountain pine beetle, complete with the burning of a 28-foot wooden beetle ala Burning Man.

But what is a mountain pine beetle, and why is it so destructive?

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Creature Feature – Caribou

caribou

Rangifer tarandus
Range: Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Northern Europe, Northern Asia
Height: 30–60 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 130–600 pounds
Lifespan: up to 20 years

Caribou inhabit the tundra and boreal forests in Canada, the northern United States, Europe, and Asia. In Europe and the Russian Far East caribou are kept in herds and used for meat, fur, and milk. Tame caribou pull sleighs and carry loads. In Europe caribou are called reindeer. In the United States a small domesticated type of caribou is called a reindeer.

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