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Lizard Brains

When will our primitive reptilian brains begin to register that we’re sitting in very hot water? Any time now: Today’s Endangered All-Star, the Lizard Orchid, is only one of those highlighted in an alarming report out from Natural England, revisiting the ghosts of species past, present, and future. More than two species are being lost each year; far more are edging up to the brink. Overall, the UK has lost some 500 plants and animals over the past two centuries, as The Guardian summarizes in an excellent article: The website also offers a gallery of 18 photographs, an interactive map, and audio. Marley’s ghost had better get ready for some company, because it doesn’t sound like this story is going to have a happy ending. “Each species has a role and, like the rivets in an aeroplane, the overall structure of our environment is weakened each time a single species is lost,” Helen Phillips, Natural England’s chief executive, told the newspaper. “We seem to have endless capacity to get engaged about rainforests but this reminds us conservation begins at home.”
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