- from Rain Forests
Visitors to a rain forest quickly notice its tremendous biodiversity. The number of different species of plants and animals is astounding.
And no animal group better exemplifies the term biodiversity than insects and other arthropods. Those are invertebrates with jointed legs, segmented bodies, and external skeletons. In fact, there may be as many as a million different species of insects.
Arthropods form a crucial link in the food chain of a rain forest. They are necessary for the survival of all living things there. With so many predators feeding on them, insects have evolved many defenses. These include spines, camouflage, and even chemicals. Some species are huge, while others are microscopic. Some insects are beneficial to humans (like those that pollinate crops), while others cause harm (like those that spread diseases, such as malaria). Within the world of rain forest insects, the big, the bizarre, and the beautiful often occupy the same patch of jungle.