These swamp creatures serve a purpose... and need our help
Unlike the political meme, swamps are home to endangered species and help keep our air and water clean.
The phrase “drain the swamp” goes back many decades in reference to changing bureaucracy—and it implies that swamps are stagnant, undesirable places.
In reality, swamps are wildly productive. The swamps in the Middle East’s were a boon to agriculture and human society, and the area is considered the birthplace of civilization.
Only five percent of the continental U.S. consists of wetlands, “yet they are home to nearly one-third of all of our plant species,” and to over a third of rare and endangered plant and animal species, says Mike Hardig, a biologist at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, via email.
So what exactly is a swamp? What kinds of animals live in them, and how do they make