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Example text

Looking at the totality of life, the POET asks, Who are Gaia’s children? The ECOLOGIST responds, They are the species. We must know the role each one plays in the whole in order to manage Earth wisely. The SYSTEMATIST adds, Then let’s get started. How many species exist? Where are they in the world? Who are their genetic kin? Systematists, the biologists who specialize in classification, favor the species as the unit by which to measure biodiversity. They build on the system of classification invented in the mid-1700s by the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus.

Don’t build sand castles but explore, and as you enjoy this watery microcosm keep in mind what the great nineteenthcentury physicist Michael Faraday correctly said, that nothing in this world is too wonderful to be true. Even the most familiar small organisms are less studied than might be guessed. About ten thousand species of ants are known and named, but that number may double when tropical regions are more fully explored. While recently conducting a study of Pheidole, one of the world’s two largest ant genera, I uncovered 341 new species, more than doubling the number in the genus and increasing the entire known fauna of ants in the Western Hemisphere by 10 percent.

Division of Forestry, believed that our resources should be managed to meet the present needs of the people, but they insisted that natural assets must be preserved for future generations. During the 1960s and 1970s, an increasing amount of scientific evidence came to light showing that pollution was damaging the Earth and people’s health. The focus of environmentalists 22 How Did the Environmental Movement Get Started in Our Country? shifted to concerns about pollution and toxic waste. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also in 1970, were all part of this “second wave” of the environmental movement.

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All About Ocean Life


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