Old world sparrows are physically similar to other seed-eating birds, such as finches, but have a vestigial dorsal outer primary feather and an extra bone in the tongue. This bone, the preglossale, helps stiffen the tongue when holding seeds. Other adaptations towards eating seeds are specialized bills and elongated and specialized alimentary canals.
Chicory - native to Europe, this strikingly beautiful blue wildflower is now found growing wild all across North America and is a very important food for livestock, and as a coffee substitute or coffee-additive. Anyone familiar with some of the wonderful coffees from the New Orleans area will be very familiar with chicory coffee, which is very similar with a somewhat nutty taste, that is made from the roasted and ground roots.
Snowshoe Hare - while these larger cousins of rabbits are well known for having white coats in winter and brown coats in the summer, individuals in Washington's Olympic National Park will retain their brown coat all throughout the winter.
Until the late 1800s, reddish egrets were hunted for their feathers, which were used to decorate ladies' hats and clothing. The entire US population of reddish egrets was nearly exterminated by hunters, and they completely disappeared from Florida. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed, finally protecting reddish egrets and other birds from plumage hunters. Although their populations are still recovering, it is a slow process. There are only 1,500 to 2,000 nesting pairs of reddish egrets in the United States - and most of these are in Texas.
The specialized hairs on the claws of scorpions are so sensitive they can detect air moving at only 0.072 km/hr. This helps them find their prey on the darkest of nights.
Madrone is the most northerly broadleaf evergreen tree on the continent, growing up and down the coast from mountains near San Diego to rocky shorelines up on the Georgia Straight.