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Gallery: Rainbow of Life in Great Salt Lake

California seagull, the Utah State Bird

great salt lake, microbes, extremophiles, archaea

(Image credit: Seagulls image via Shutterstock)

Seagulls, the Utah state bird, fly over an inlet on Antelope Island in the southern part of the lake. The California gull received this honor for eating up hordes crickets that were threatening to destroy crops in 1848, according to the state of Utah.

Key habitats

great salt lake, microbes, extremophiles, archaea

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Great Salt Lake Institute)

The Great Salt Lake and its marshes provide important bird habitat for gulls and many other species. One of the largest breeding populations of American White Pelicans, shown above, lives on Gunnison Island in the lake’s northern arm.

Brine flies

great salt lake, microbes, extremophiles, archaea

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Great Salt Lake Institute)

Brine flies like these are also abundant at the Great Salt Lake.

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