Are you a super-fan of nature?
In honor of college basketball's biggest moment, we've pitted together nature's fiercest creatures for our own online competition this March.
Get to know our "Elite 8" teams below, then vote on which teams advance to the Final Four - announced on March 24th! Voting also enters you into a sweepstakes to be one of five to win a collection of Nature Conservancy items. A win for nature and a win for you!
In real life, these critters are facing their toughest rival yet: habitat loss. We're committed to helping nature win.
The legendary great white shark is the largest and most feared predator in the ocean. These massive hunters weigh over 5,000 pounds and can detect blood in the water from up to three miles away.
The wily diamondback terrapin is an excellent swimmer and has strong jaws for crushing shells of clams and snails. They live along coasts as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Florida.
"Whoooo hoo!" The call of the Great Horned Owl is a classic sound of the wild and can be heard from miles away. This fierce hunter has some serious moves. Its talons can extend to a size of 4x8 inches and can close down on its prey with the force of almost 30 pounds!
The largest of the cat species, the tiger is the epitome of power. Nighttime hunters, they sneak as close as possible to their prey before sprinting at their victims and pulling them off of their feet.
This mythic bird of prey is known for agility and speed. Its extremely powerful talons allow it to snatch up prey, including rabbits, squirrels, and even large mammals like foxes and goats!
Hear that howling? It’s the gray wolf calling to his pack. These formidable predators live, travel and hunt in packs of four to seven.
The American alligator ranges throughout the American southeast in freshwater marshes, rivers and swamps, where it basks by day and hunts by night.
Talk about adaptability! Salmon are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, and then return back to freshwater to spawn.