Over 200 plant species grow in vernal pools and the surrounding
prairie. Half of these are rarely found outside this unique
habitat. A single pool typically supports only 15 to 20 species
in an unpredictable array of combinations. In that way, vernal
pools are a lot like snowflakes – botanically speaking, no two
For 2 billion years, bacteria were the only creatures on Earth.
Long before the dinosaurs, a special type of bacteria slowly
increased the level of oxygen in the Earth’s air to 20 percent.
Without this oxygen other plants and animals could not have
evolved, including us.