In celebration of World Soil Day (December 5, 2013), we give you a round-up of Your Wild Life posts that in some way extol the wonders of soil and all of the organisms that live in it (microbes, arthropods and more) – Happy reading!

  • Confessions of a Stone Turner – In this piece originally published in National Wildlife Magazine, Rob explains how “planting” rocks in your yard provides a home for subterranean life-forms.
  • Winter Ants — Dr. Eleanor explains how winter ants (Prenolepis imparis) dig their nests deep into the soil to avoid the chill coma that accompanies winter’s cool temperatures.
  • Dogs Make You and Me Wild – In writing about some of the early results from the Wild Life of Our Homes study, Rob explains that microbes from the outdoors (particularly soil) are making their way into our homes – via dust and most definitely on the fur and paws of our dogs.
  • The Belly Buttons Will Be Revealed, Slowly –  Did you know that we extract the DNA from microbes collected in belly buttons using a kit originally designed for extracting DNA from microbes that live in soil? Check out the Methods section of our belly button biodiversity paper-in-progess.

Photo credit: USDA NRCS Soil Health