Within the Absoroka-Beartooth Wilderness in the Custer National Forest lies a glacier with an incredible link to the past. Imbedded in the glacier are millions of grasshoppers or locust, which have been there for at least a couple hundred years and possibly thousands. As Grasshopper Glacier recedes in these warming years, many of the grasshoppers are unfortunately quickly melting out and disintegrating, however this has also given researchers an opportunity to discover that the glacier contains at least one species of extinct locust. The locusts are believed to have been frozen into the ice while swarms were caught in blizzards; this is not an uncommon occurrence and there are actually a few grasshopper encrusted glaciers throughout the Rocky Mountains.

UM Department of Geography |  Michelle Selander