People tend to pay attention to big animals when they go to the zoo or museum. They go to see the gorillas, or the tigers, or the dinosaur bones. I get it; dinosaurs are awesome. The problem is that charismatic megafauna tell only a very narrow story about evolution and biology. Again, admittedly an awesome one—dinosaurs!—but there are plenty of other neat stories that smaller critters can tell. The lives of rodents, or the humble honey bee, of fungi who infect ants and drive them to literal lunacy. Focusing on all those oddball forms of life, big or small, can lead people to overlook the unsung heroes of the ecosystem. June’s Scientific American doesn’t fall into that trap, with its article on the “Tiny Plants That Once Ruled the Seas” being a bit of a love letter to...plankton. In particular, that the rise of modern sea life, in the wake of the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event, can be traced to phytoplankton, which literally fueled the bloom of diversity in the Mesozoic (that’s dinosaur times!) and Cenozoic (that’s now). In doing so, the authors Ronald Martin and Antoinetta Quigg also tie the rise of phytoplankton into the threat of climate change.