snail darter


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snail darter,

a small, rare fish, Percina tanasi, discovered by a zoologist who was snorkeling in the Little Tennessee River upstream from the projected Tellico Dam. Dam opponents fought successfully to include the darter on the Endangered Species List in 1975 (see endangered speciesendangered species,
any plant or animal species whose ability to survive and reproduce has been jeopardized by human activities. In 1999 the U.S. government, in accordance with the U.S.
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), and the dam was halted. In 1978, the Supreme Court sided with environmentalists, but Congress declared the fish nonendangered and the Tellico was built. Snail darters are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Percidae.
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Affirming an injunction that prohibited the Tennessee Valley Authority from completing the Tellico Dam because it would eliminate the snail darter's only known habitat, the Supreme Court resolved an intragovernmental dispute between the TVA and the Interior Department as well as the claims of the local opponents of the dam.
To round out the comedy, a few years later the snail darter was found to flourish in several other nearby streams, so allowing Tellico did not finish it off after all.
Tellico became a national issue after biologists discovered that it would cause the extinction of the snail darter, a tiny fish that lived in the Little Tennessee River, making the dam a test case for the Endangered Species Act.
Funds also will be gathered at the local level, as policemen will be told to write $50 "Public Churlishness" tickets and slap them on the windshields of any cars carrying a bumper sticker reading "Nuke the Whales" or "Screw the Snail Darter." Police also will be instructed to write $35 tickets to anyone who disturbs the peace by saying things such as, "This country is starting to resemble Russia."
The $100,000,000 Tellico Dam project in Tennessee was halted indefinitely when the Supreme Court ruled that the snail darter, a rare species of perch, was protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and that construction of the dam threatened its extinction.
After the snail darter swam onto the scene and threatened to stop a massive water project, discussions about the Endangered Species Act went from far-sighted to myopic.
In 1977 construction was delayed on Tellico Dam in Tennessee with the discovery of the snail darter, a tiny fish that existed only in the Little Tennessee River and would vanish if the dam were completed.
Major construction projects across the country have been delayed for years because of endangered species like the Tennessee Snail Darter and the Dusky Seaside Sparrow (which is now extinct).
And how environmentalists--at the highest level, not the college student next door who has no idea of what is being done in the name of being "green" --consider mankind to be an alien life form on the planet, while protection of the snail darter is to be accomplished at any cost.
A little common sense in the application of some of these might help, but apparently common sense has joined the snail darter on the Endangered List.