Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with E

Evolution, Teaching of

Few educational issues have caused as much vehement debate in Arkansas as the teaching of evolutionary theory—the scientific proposition that species change, or evolve, over time, primarily through the mechanism of natural selection. Books and articles have been written, laws passed, sermons delivered, and trials held, with the defenders and the critics of the teaching of evolution united only in their belief that the handling of this subject in Arkansas classrooms was a matter of the gravest importance. Passions and tempers remain high even into the twenty-first century. By the late nineteenth century, many people in Arkansas, indeed all over America, were becoming increasingly disturbed by modernization, with its sweeping changes in the way people lived and thought. These changes …

Exact and Very Strange Truth, The

The Exact and Very Strange Truth is a novel by Little Rock (Pulaski County) native Ben Piazza. It is a fictionalized account of his growing up in Little Rock during the 1930s and 1940s. Although he earned more acclaim as an actor and director, Piazza had been a writer since his days at Little Rock Central High School, where he edited the literary magazine. While a student at Princeton University, his short story “The Death of Two Kittens” was published in the Nassau Literary Magazine. He started working on the novel while starring on Broadway in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1963. During the run of that show, he wrote during the day and performed at night. He finished …

Exotic Fish

An exotic (or invasive) species is any plant or animal that is not native to an ecosystem and that can potentially cause economic or environmental harm, as well as damage to native animal or human health. Several species of exotic fishes in Arkansas have the capability to cause significant economic losses to fisheries and reduce opportunities for effective uses of valued aquatic natural resources. These include seven species within the minnow family Cyprinidae (now considered Leuciscidae), five species in the trout and salmon family Salmonidae, a single species of cichlid (Cichlidae), snakehead (Channidae), smelt (Osmeridae), and yellow perch (Percidae), and two species of pikes (Esocidae). CYPRINIFORMES: CYPRINIDAE (LEUCISCIDAE) Rudd or pearl roach (Scardinius erythrophthalmus). This fish apparently entered the United …

Experimental Forests

Experimental forests are timbered lands that have been established primarily for scientific research and demonstration projects in which forest conditions are manipulated. In effect, experimental forests are long-term “laboratories” for testing environmental responses to silvicultural treatments, including thinning, tree regeneration, final harvesting, site preparation, herbicide and fertilizer applications, and other actions. In addition to controlled and replicated research trials, most experimental forests have areas dedicated to the “demonstration” of forestry techniques on an operational scale. As of 2021, four experimental forests in Arkansas are operated by the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS): the 4,281-acre Alum Creek Experimental Forest near Jessieville (Garland County), the 1,675-acre Crossett Experimental Forest south of Crossett (Ashley County), the …

Extinct Animals [Historic Period]

Arkansas has undergone many changes over geologic time. The climate has ranged from tropical, supporting dinosaurs in the Mesozoic period, to the cold period at the end of the Cenozoic period, known as the Pleistocene epoch. The most recent drastic climate change began about 1.6 million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch, the planet’s most recent ice age. Glaciers covered much of North America. They did not reach Arkansas but occurred as far south as the Missouri River. During warm periods, the glaciers melted and sent millions of gallons of water through Arkansas on its way to the sea. Many types of animals that lived here have disappeared. If they had a hard shell or a bony skeleton, fossil records …

Extinct Animals [Prehistoric Period]

Fossils and sedimentary rock layers contribute to current knowledge of the animals that lived in Arkansas in the geologic past. A careful examination of these layers and the types of fossils contained in them reveals clues about the age of the rock and the different environments of the past. In the older deposits, evidence indicates that all of Arkansas was covered by the ocean at various times; fossils of marine animals are found as well as sequences of rock that display patterns only found in marine sedimentary deposits. In some of the most recent deposits, the remains of land animals that walked the earth just a few thousand years ago have been found. All but the most recent of the …