By Katie Gill
Today we focus on creatures who keep the world clean and healthy.
- Oysters filter and clean water by consuming algae and removing dirt and nitrogen pollution!
Image and info from https://t.co/EFibGxSOhS
- Some insects help break down organic matter, e.g. dead trees, and turn it into nutrients for soil. A couple examples of these insect decomposers are rhinoceros beetles, termites and flies.
- The world would actually smell much worse if it wasn’t for skunks! Opportunistic hunters, skunks eat dead animals and carcass remains left by foxes, coyotes and wolves.
Image and info from http://www.skunkhaven.net/SkunkIntro.htm
- Vultures clean other scavengers’ plates! Vulture stomach acid is so corrosive, it allows the birds to safely digest putrid carcasses infected with toxins and bacteria that are lethal to other scavengers.
- Dung beetles do eat other organisms’ excrement, but they are picky about their poop! These insects prefer herbivores’ dung because it contains nutritional, undigested plant matter.
- Ants, as pesky as they can be inside your home, are incredibly beneficial to the environment! They aid in decomposition, churn soil, transport and disperse seeds to nutrient rich spots, and consume flies, fleas, and bed bug eggs! They’re even believed to be essential to coffee and chocolate production!
- Frogs are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. These amphibians have porous, permeable skin that absorbs substances in its surroundings. Frogs can also live either in water or on land. Hence, their presence in an environment is a sign that all is well, whereas their absence could be a red flag, signaling environmental contamination.
Image and info from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/animals-that-help-us-to-survive/