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An adult Aeshnidae

Natural Selections: It takes about half a day to get there, if you travel by Dragonfly.

Editor’s note: In honor of World Water Day (March 22nd annually) today’s Natural Selections post is focused on Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) who call Tibbetts Brook and Van Cortlandt Lake home.  Alex Byrne will introduce you to these fascinating creatures and share with you why you spend some time watching them in the Park. It takes about half a day to get there, if you travel by Dragonfly. By: Alex Byrne Predators have always been a part of human culture and experience.  Our intimacy with this act, read in tooth and claw, is a product of being predator and prey,...

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Natural Selections of VCP: Meet the Carpenter Ant

Editor’s note: We would like to introduce you to our newest blogpost series- Natural Selections of Van Cortlandt Park.  This series will focus on the creatures that call Van Cortlandt Park home.  With well over half of its 1,146 acres being comprised of natural habitats- forests, wetlands, a lake and meadows- many plants and animals live in or rely on Van Cortlandt Park.  Each post in Natural Selections will highlight and introduce you to one or a family of those creatures.  During this first post, Alex Byrne will introduce you all to some of the Carpenter Ants in our beloved...

photo of ant experiment

Mapping Ant Diversity Across Van Cortlandt Park

The Buggy Down Bronx:Mapping Ant Diversity Across Van Cortlandt Park by: Alex Byrne As the Jurassic faded into the Cretaceous, planet earth began to experience a revolution in sociality with the radiation of one of the most ecologically dominant groups of animals to date, the ants. By living communally in colonies that can number in the thousands of individuals in some species, it is thought that ants turnover more soil than earth worms, provide habitat for a number of organisms, cycle the majority of the forest floor organic material and are typically the first animals to arrive to newly arisen...