Jepson Prairie’s Weird, Wonderful Wildlife

by on May 03, 2011

Jepson Prairie, in Solano County, is home to vernal pools — and otherworldly invertebrates that look a bit like tiny trilobytes or horseshoe crabs!

The remarkable creatures of the pools, from tadpole shrimp to tiger salamanders, have evolved to thrive in an environment of extremes — deep rain-fed pools all winter and dry hardpan all summer. Docent Russ Huddleston explains just how they do it.

Produced by Rick Bacigalupi, with production assistance from Daniel Okamura