Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Caterpillar in Winter
Name: Peggy
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
I live in northern New York on the shore of Lake Ontario. The temperature today is 20 degrees. Last night it was 10 below. I found a woolly bear caterpillar walking across the snow. My question is should I leave it there or bring it in for the rest of the winter? How do I take care of it if I bring it in? Why would it come out of hibernation on such a cold day? Thank you.



Replies:
Why would it be out? Who knows, but it was, and was moving, so I suggest (belatedly of course since this was several days ago) leaving it alone. Small creatures have many remarkable characteristics that allow them to survive, most have been around a lot longer than humans and will probably still be around long after we are gone, and all the help they need from us is to be left alone.

J. Elliott

p.s. I don't mean this to sound flip, as if there are no human-caused problems for small creatures - but those problems are a major subset of "not leaving them alone" - i.e. destroying their habitat, adding foreign things to their environment, etc.



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory