Goodbye, Snails

Read the full story from the Atlantic.

Once, snails decorated the forests of Hawaii like Christmas ornaments. There were more than 750 unique species, which descended from ancestral mollusks that arrived on the islands millions of years ago. Hawaii’s snails were exemplars of evolution’s generative prowess.

But in recent decades, Hawaii’s snails have become notorious for the opposite force: extinction. Due to habitat loss and invasive predators, more than half of the snail species on the islands have gone extinct. Of those that remain, many have only a few dozen members left in their total populations. Some are endlings, the last of their kind.

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