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The pear (genus Pyrus) is a common name for over 20 species of fruit-bearing and ornamental trees of the rose family.



The mollusc is a soft-bodied, usually shelled invertebrate belonging to one of the largest animal phyla (Mollusca) with some 100 000 living and about 35 000 fossil species.



In Canada the official national meteorological service definition of a blizzard is a period of 6 or more hours with winds above 40 km/h, with visibility reduced to below 1 km by blowing or drifting snow, and with windchills over 1600 W/ m2 (watts per square metre).


Molluscan Resources

Although Canada's coastline is extensive and contains many diverse molluscan species, the resource is economically relatively small. In 1995 nearly 200 000 t valued at $114.5 million were taken.


Toronto Feature: Hurricane Hazel

Hurricane Hazel was one of the most devastating and unpredictable tropical storms of the 20th century. It was first identified on 5 October 1954, in the Caribbean, where it smashed into Haiti and then battered the Carolinas. The storm struck Toronto on 15 October with winds of 124 km/h and record rainfall.


Fire Disasters in Canada

Disastrous fires may result from arson, accident or uncontrolled forest fire. Their impact may include lives lost, people evacuated and property damaged. Numerous fires, especially forest fires, occur in Canada every year; this article details the worst that have occurred throughout the country’s history.


Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is the common name for a family (Hamamelidaceae) of trees or shrubs and refers especially to members of the genus Hamamelis.


Dogs in Canada

Dog (Canis familiaris) is a carnivorous mammal, and probably the first domesticated animal. In Canada, dogs were first kept by Indigenous peoples. The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes 187 breeds, five of which are uniquely Canadian: the Tahltan bear dog, the Canadian Inuit dog, the Nova Scotia duck-tolling retriever, the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever. A sixth dog breed indigenous to Canada, the Salish woolly dog, went extinct before the Canadian Kennel Club officially registered it as a breed.


Weather Forecasting

Most modern meteorologists attempt to cope with physical processes by expressing them mathematically, ie, by creating mathematical models of the atmosphere. Powerful computers are then used to solve problems.


Red River Flood

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 12, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

The flood of the century, they have been calling it in Manitoba, an awesome demonstration of nature’s raw might.



A snake is a long, slender reptile of the suborder Serpentes, order Squamata (which also includes lizards). In Canada, 26 species and one hybrid are native. Most species are found in the southern part of the country.


Canals and Inland Waterways

These 2 great journeys were first made just before the end of the 18th century, and by the same man. Alexander Mackenzie reached the mouth of the river which now bears his name in 1789, and was the first European to cross the North American continent (to Bella Coola) in 1793.



Thunderstorms usually occur on summer afternoons. While a thunderstorm typically affects a given locality for only an hour or so during its passage overhead, the entire lifetime may be as long as 6-10 hours, along a pathway of several hundred kilometres.


Mountain Goat

The mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) is an even-toed, hoofed mammal of the cattle family (Bovidae), derived during the ice ages from the primitive Asiatic goat-antelopes.



Sunflower (genus Helianthus), common name for annual or perennial herbaceous plants native to the Western Hemisphere and belonging to the family Compositae.



Lily, common name for members of genus Lilium of the lily family (Liliaceae).