Where would you look if I asked you to find three living creatures that are known by the common names of Spectaclecase, Pigtoe, and Elephant Ear? To be honest, prior to giving Abbie Gascho Landis‘ new book Immersion; The Science and Mystery of Freshwater Mussels a quick perusal, I myself wouldn’t have had a clue.

Nor would I have had the slightest idea that of all the freshwater mussel species known in North America, approximately 70% are presently classified as either Vulnerable, Imperiled, Critically Imperiled, or Presumed Extinct.

Why is this so? That is something I have still yet to learn from a complete reading of the book. Well, that and – I’m confident – quite a large amount of other information about these creatures of which I now know just how astonishingly little I presently know.