Question 1: Why is this landscape known as the ‘Badlands’?
- Dangerous predators
- Inhospitable conditions
- It’s a mystery
Correct Answer: Inhospitable conditions
Fact: This image comes from Badlands National Park in South Dakota, a rugged terrain that spans 244,000 acres—and became a national park 45 years ago today. Extreme temperatures, lack of water, and rocky terrain led the Oglala Lakota people to call it 'mako sica' or 'land bad' years ago, and the name stuck.
Question 2: Which natural process gradually wore rocks away in Badlands National Park?
- Seismic activity
Correct Answer: Erosion
Fact: The White and Cheyenne Rivers began to work their way through the area about 500,000 years ago, causing erosion and gradually forming the channels and canyons of the national park.
Question 3: What is the state animal of South Dakota?
- American bison
Correct Answer: Coyote
Fact: A slightly smaller cousin of the wolf, the coyote is native to North America. This versatile and widely distributed animal measures an average height of 24 inches and weighs approximately 20 to 50 pounds.