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Invertebrates or "animals without backbones" comprise the majority of life on this planet with some estimates indicating that 95% to 99% of all animal species are invertebrates. Their diversity is staggering and their importance to the planet is irreplaceable in food webs and in the maintenance of ecosystems, as pollinators and recyclers.

Pollination by bees, beetles, flies, and butterflies is essential to the survival of many plants, our own survival, and much of our agricultural industry. Recycling by termites, dung beetles, burying beetles, and various species of flies maintains the health of environments, reduces the spread of disease, and releases nutrients for reuse in the environment.
diversity chart

Invertebrates are also major and often rather expensive food items in many cultures: from crabs, lobsters, and shrimp to squid and octopus to various caterpillars and beetle grubs. In addition other foods and products produced by invertebrates have found their uses in human society, e.g., honey, wax, silk, shellac, dyes, etc.


Why Invertebrates pages: 1 | 2 | 3

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