Category Archives: Evolution

What is this orange backed spider?

The Question: I live in North Texas. When I grabbed a pair of pants out of my closet, a spider dropped out. It was black everywhere but the top half of the abdomen, which was bright orange. It was fairly slender and the legs weren’t all that long. Also, it wasn’t a hairy spider like most of the ones we have around here. Any idea what this might be?

Submitted by: Robert, Texas, USA

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What is this Texas wildflower?

The Question: This wildflower is new to me and not one I have ever seen before in the Texas Hill Country. The plants have invaded my garden and are very lush and hearty. I’ve not seen them anywhere else in the pasture. The plants are almost shoulder high and I was expecting a big bloom to follow the quick growth but instead there is only a small flower tassel. What is this plant is called?
Submitted by: Betsy, Texas, USA

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What are these tiny oily beads in Lake Huron?

The Question: In Michigan in early July, thousands of tiny, clear, oily, bead-like things were scattered all over the beach along the water line. We were wondering if they were a natural occurrence or some kind of pollution.

Submitted by: Sara, MI
(The picture to the left was taken with a cell phone.)

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