This Friday is the International Day for Biological Diversity. It is a day to celebrate the amazing diversity of life on Earth. It is also a day to raise awareness of biodiversity loss, as scientists estimate that 25% of plants and animals face extinction. It a day to chart a course of action.
Life on Earth is an unbelievably complex, interconnected, magical network of life. It includes bioluminescent mushrooms…yes, mushrooms that glow in the dark. There are also extremophiles that live in Lake Vostok which locked underneath more than 2 miles of ice in eastern Antarctica; the water in this lake has been trapped underneath the ice for more than 15 million years. There are weaverbirds that build these incredible, and sometimes quite large, nests of material intricately woven together. And let us not forget about mustache toads (more scientifically known as the Emei mustache toad); the males grow a spikey mustache made of keratin to fight rivals for the best nesting sites. Mustache fight! There are also carnivorous plants; an arachnid appropriately called a peacock spider; and the strange and wonderful platypus that is part otter, beaver, and duck (and if that’s not enough males have sharp, venomous spurs on both ankles).
Let us all take the time to learn and appreciate the biodiversity all around us. For, as Jane Goodall said: “Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall all be saved.” Happy Biodiversity Day!