The story in the Atlantic.

When extinction is spoken about, it’s almost exclusively in terms of land based vertebrates, usually mammals, which form a tiny portion of the biodiversity of the planet. And even that attention is heavily skewed towards “charismatic megafauna” – animals that are cute and big enough to be visible. But it’s the extinction of the small and spineless that can shape how the world works. The very oxygen rich atmosphere of the planet is possible in part due to the extinction of anaerobic microbes, and how the extinction of oysters in the Hudson River changed the lives of New Yorkers.

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