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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Locality Information Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Locality Name:
Great Falls
Cascade County , Montana

Species Encountered:
icon-4 Populus angustifolia James
narrowleaved cottonwood
June 12, 1805
North bank of Missouri river between Marias river and Great Falls
icon-2 Oncorhynchus clarki Richardson
cutthroat trout
June 13, 1805
Lewis and Clark called it the speckled trout because of the spots the fish shows on the flanks and fins. Also known as the Clark's trout,...  more>>
icon-5 Crotalus viridis Rafinesque
western rattlesnake
June 15, 1805
icon-2 Ictalurus punctatus Rafinesque
channel catfish
June 15, 1805
The channel catfish, much smaller than the bluecatfish, weights no more than thirty pounds. If the fish caught that day by the party were indeed channel ...  more>>
icon-4 Ribes cereum Dougl.
wax currant
June 18, 1805
icon-1 Sturnella neglecta
Western Meadowlark
June 22, 1805
icon-1 Numenius americanus
Long-billed Curlew
June 23, 1805
icon-1 Euphagus cyanocephalus
Brewer's Blackbird
June 25, 1805
icon-5 Chrysemys picta Schneider
painted turtle
June 25, 1805
icon-1 Chordeiles minor
Common Nighthawk
June 30, 1805

Lewis takes this moment to give a lesson on members of the nightjar family.  These ground-nesting birds all have short beaks, wide mouths, and ...  more>>

icon-3 Neotoma cinerea
Bushy-tailed Wood Rat
July 2, 1805

. . . we caught a large rat.

Larger than the eastern woodrat, the bushy-tailed woodrat is true to its name.  Along with a larger body ...  more>>

icon-3 Vulpes velox
Swift Fox or Kit Fox
July 6, 1805

Around the Great Falls of the Missouri in present day Montana, Lewis described a number of birds and mammals.  One of these is the swift, or kit fox,...  more>>

icon-3 Spermophilus tridecemlineatus
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
July 8, 1805

Not all animals were shot before being collected.  The men brought Lewis a live ground squirrel bearing thirteen neat stripes down the back.  This ...  more>>

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