Yellowstone National Park’s Facebook and Instagram pages are must-follows for all of you outdoorsy people out there.
They’re constantly posting fascinating tidbits about wildlife and weather in the park.
Today’s post is about snow fleas. Have you ever heard of them?
Here’s a picture description of the arthropods provided by Yellowstone National Park:
“Patch of snow looking like you lost all the poppy seeds off your bagel? You’ve got snow fleas!
Snow fleas, also known as springtails, are a common sight on warm winter days. These tiny animals live in the soil and eat leaf litter and other organic material.
In winter, they often appear on the surface of the snow – sometimes in a dusting like pepper, sometimes in thick clumps. They might be looking for food (poppy seeds, maybe?), but they haven’t been studied enough to know for sure!”
Pretty interesting, right?
Apparently, researchers at Queen’s University in Canada have been able to synthesize the protein that allows snow fleas to operate in sub-zero environments.
They hope to synthesize similar proteins to help transplant organs and make better ice cream, according to Wikipedia.
^Credit: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Keep your eye out for snow fleas next time you’re hiking or skiing on a warm day.
You might just be looking at the future of better Ben & Jerry’s!
Header Image Credit: Farmer’s Almanac