For the past 200,000 years, half a million ancient horseshoe crabs have been coming to the beaches of Delaware to breed.
60,000 bolts of lightning strike the Arizona deserts each year. A single bolt can reach 50,000 degrees and generate a billion volts.
Mountain goats tough out the worst of winter on high mountain peaks over 12,000 feet above sea level, where Arctic winds can reach 100 mph.
Death Valley holds the record for the highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth: 134°F, taken at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913.
Each spring, spinner and blacktip sharks migrate 1,000 miles up the U.S. Atlantic Coast in one of the planet’s greatest mass migrations.
Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas, is home to the largest concentration of mammals on Earth: some 20 million free-tailed bats.
Image by Jim Nieland
Woodpeckers slam their beaks against wood with a force 1,000 times that of gravity. That’s 20 times more force than a human can survive.
Image by: http://birds.audubon.org/birds/pileated-woodpecker
In the hidden inlets of Big Sur, California, bobcats prey on seagulls that bathe in crystal clear mountain streams.
Image by: www.factzoo.com
Each year, over 400 tornadoes rip into North America’s prairies; in the last 50, tornadoes have touched down in virtually every state.
Image By: www.tornadosrunningclub.com
There are thousands of spadefoot frogs buried beneath the desert sands of the American Southwest, waiting for the annual monsoons.
Each year, trillions of mayflies hatch along the Mississippi River, collectively releasing 475,000 tons of protein into the food chain.
Image by: www.accuweather.com
Of the half a million Olive Ridley sea turtles that hatch every year, only 5% make it past waiting predators to the safety of the sea.
Image by: animalofthewould.wikia.com
Bald eagles will scare flocks of snow geese roosting on an icy lake, then prey on those that break their bones in the mass hysteria.
A bald eagle panics a flock of Snow Geese
500,000 years of erosion have shaped the Badlands into a region of razor-sharp ridges and buttes. Temperatures here can climb to 116°F.
Image by: www.nps.gov
The California condor's 9-foot wingspan is the largest on the continent. This ancient bird is so rare that only 22 remain in the wild.
Image by: gallery.usgs.gov
Years after they’ve hatched, salmon can find their exact birthplace based on smell alone.
Image by: lure-atlanta.com
The largest-ever prairie dog settlement spanned 100 miles in one direction, 250 in the other and was home to 400 million prairie dogs.
Image by: stevecreek.com
A red fox homes in on the Earth’s magnetic field to fine-tune its pounce, allowing it to target mice stirring 3 feet beneath the snow.
Weighing only 1 oz (28 g), the calliope hummingbird’s migration up to 5,000 miles each year along the Rockies is the longest per gram of any warm-blooded creature.
Image by: hawksaloft.org
Winter is a fight against starvation for the 1-ton American bison, which must consume over 20 pounds of grass a day just to stay alive.
Image by: fineartamerica.com
Dolphins along North America’s Mid-Atlantic coast operate as a unit to drive fish to land, then the dolphins beach themselves to catch the fish. A behavior seen nowhere else on the continent.
Each year in Labrador, Canada, 28,000 caribou wind their way through the mountains as part of a 3,700-mile annual migration.
Image Source: Getty Images. http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/caribou-migration.jpg
North America’s alligator gar is an ancient fish that can reach 12 feet in length. It gulps air and may even be able to survive on land.
Some of the vertical spires found in Monument Valley are the magma cores of ancient volcanoes that once peppered the landscape.
Image by: www.summitpost.org
The Grand Canyon’s highest point, Point Imperial, is over a mile and a half above the canyon floor.
Image source: www.city-data.com
With a summit elevation of 20,320 feet above sea level, Mount McKinley – part of the Denalis – is the highest mountain in North America.
Mt. Denali at sunsetMt. McKinley peaked out from behind the clouds as I was driving down the mountain. Of course I had to pull over and get a photograph!