Nature Notebook – Rules of Nature

Mother Nature is the ultimate rule breaker. Never say “never” or “always” about things in nature.

For example…Rule: Female snakes, being reptiles, lay eggs and then leave the area. Not quite: Some species retain the eggs in their bodies then have “live” birth, and ball python mothers remain in the area to protect eggs and young hatchlings.

Or…Rule: Hibernating animals have a very low body temperature. Not quite: Bears are very efficient hibernators but their body temperature only drops a few degrees.

Or…Rule: Skunk cabbage only grows in moist areas. Not quite: We have found skunk cabbage plants in our “dry” upland forest and they seem to be doing just fine. We can probably thank squirrels for this natural experiment; they are one of the animals that will carry off the seeds for later consumption.