GROUP MADISON Plants and Animals

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Lewis and Clark found new plants and animal on their journey this is some of the animals and plants that they discovered. They were amazing explorers and discovered animals unknown to human kind. When they ventured west, many thought it would hold animal lost in time, such as the Woolly Mammoth. They were the heros of their time and their many advetures stunned the Citizens on what they found. external image lewis_clark_569.jpg

external image bear_grass.jpgBeargrass Lewis collected Beargrass, he says that the leaves of the plant are used by natives to make things like baskets. Plant has stem and at top are leaves. First grown in areas from southern Alaska centeral california. in 1970 scientists tried testing it and found it helped fight cancer.

The Canadian Wild Ginger

Lewis reported that a specimen of this plant "was taken the 1st of June at the mouth of the Osage river; it is known in this country by the name of the wild ginger, it resembles that plant somewhat in both taste and effect; it is a strong stomatic stimelent, and frequently used in sperits with bitter herbs-- it is common throughout the rich lands in the Western country." He shipped the specimen back east from Fort Mandan in April of 1805 as item No. 10 in his inventory of plants collected on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. His list included "such observations on the vegitable kingdom spread to our view in this rich country as they have occurred to my mind.-- or as the several subjects have presented themselves to my view."1 The shipment was received by John Vaughan at the American Philosophical Society in November 1805 and forwarded to Benjamin Smith Barton for study. Sometime between 1805 and 1807 this specimen, along with all of those numbered 1 through 30 by Lewis, disappeared. Frederick Pursh, who examined Lewis's plants, apparently never saw any of those, and the only record is what appears in Lewis's list. Even so, in the 1980s one of the labels came to light at a Philadelphia flea market when it was sold as a Lewis autograph. Perhaps those first thirty plant specimens from the Lewis and Clark expedition still exist in some unknown attic or basement.

The snowberry. It was astute of him to recognize its membership in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae (cap-ri-fol-ee-AY-cee-ee; "a flower shaped like a hat"). Symphoricarpos is a Greek expression meaning "fruits joined together," from the clustered pairs of berries.1 That "musilagenous substance" in the berries, although not poisonous, is mealy and tasteless, and effectually unpalatable to humans, although birds, especially grouse, thrive on it. The red objects in the photo are the buds of its delicate pink trumpet-like flowers.



Lewis and Clark saw both species of eagles that are native to North America: the black-and-white one called the bald eagle, and the brown-and-gold one commonly known as the golden eagle, but which the explorers knew as the grey eagle. The bald eagle, which is among the largest raptors found worldwide in the northern hemisphere, was already well known to Europeans and Americans, but many had never spotted one before Lewis and Clark.

external image grizzly-bear1.jpgThe Grizzley Bear Little known to European Americans at the time the Grizzley bear was thought of as the size of a dog at the time. that is before Lewis and clark saw the massive bear that stood "about 7 ft. tall on its hind legs" Lewis wrote in his journal.

wolverine.jpgThe wolveriene The Wolveriene is in the weasel family but its actually a small bear. It lives in backcountry areas, denning in caves and hollow logs. They dont like humans that much and will abandon there dens if they sence humans. there tallons are loger than any other species of fox. in 1995 the US fish and wildlife service determinded it an indangered species. called by clark the wild cat of the north. listed as a indangered species in 2000 it has lost lots of habitat to logging and snowmobile use.

bison.jpgThe Bison, also called buffalo, were most noticeable in the vast herds that seemed the very life of the plains. They infused the grasslands, their many hooves beating the ground, the bulls' roaring echoing off the hills, their backs carpeting the prairie. For plains tribes and explorers alike, the bison were key to every aspect of life. Members of the Corps worried how they would feed themselves as they pressed west and left the bison behind.


Clarks Nutcracker first seen by the corps of discovery on the hieghts of the rockey mountain. it eats whitebark pine nuts. unfortunatly blister rust is killing off the whitebark pine, the clarks nutcracker's main food source burrowingowl.jpgBurrowing owl The burrowing owl has a bevy of appropriate names. It's commonly called "prairie-dog owl" and "tunnel owl," while its scientific name, cunicularia, is Latin for "mine" or "miner." Marked by white eyebrows, a white chin stripe, and long legs that allow it to run down passing beetles, the burrowing owl often nests in abandoned prairiedog tunnels.

Towards the end of their lives they found different endings. It was believed that Lewis sunk into a depression and his death at age 38 was believed to be a suicide. Clark however became governor of the Missoiri Territory and prospered.