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3 things no one is talking about this Earth Day

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Every year on Earth Day, inboxes and social media feeds abound with photos of cute and furry animals, stirring national park scenes and pleas to take Earth-friendly actions like carrying reusable bags.

But you’ve probably heard enough about all those things already. For a change of pace, here are three things almost no one is talking about this Earth Day.

1. The Texas fatmucket — and why obscure species matter.

Polar bears, orangutans and tigers are frequent poster children for species extinction. But these “charismatic megafauna
are only the tip of the melting iceberg. For every one of these beloved species, there are dozens of little-known ones like the Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata), a freshwater mussel threatened by habitat destruction that is now found only in a few streams within its former range.

Obscure species like the Texas fatmucket may not capture people’s hearts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. The world’s ecosystems depend on the interaction of thousands of plant and animal species to function, and despite
centuries of scientific…

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