Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rocky Mountain Locust

goal for the week 13.5 hours
still sanding the boxes. So many boxes.


Once there were vast swarms of Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus) that ranged over most of the western United States. one of these swarms was over 198,000 square miles and could contain over 3 trillion individuals. 30 years after this swarm was recorded the species was completely extinct the last living specimen was recorded in 1902. They were such a problem for the western agriculture that some farmers tried to kill them with dynamite and other explosives to no real effect. It was thought that the problem these locust had is that they depended on a particular breeding ground that at some point was farmed over, completely destroying the species. Despite their great numbers during the time of their existence very few locust were ever collected, fortunately for entomologist wishing to study them a great number of locust mummies were preserved in Grasshopper Glacier in Montana.

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