Unlike animals that are literally useless, there are some that really do good for our blue planet. Spoiler alert: humans (the dumbest of all living beings) are not in this top. Amazing, right?
They swarm the streets of Paris, make us scream and disgust us. Strong. (Except Rémi from Ratatouille.) Yet rats are very useful for the ecosystem. First, they participate in the food chain since it is prey for certain birds, reptiles and mammals. Then, by excavating the soil, they dig tunnels which allow their ventilation, a better flow of water, and therefore, limit the risk of flooding. Finally, they have a role to play in mycorrhization: by eating then digesting mushrooms and seeds, they allow, via their mini droppings, to spread and naturally develop biodiversity.
Well, fleas remain real wounds BUT: by contaminating the animals on which they take up residence, they participate in the control of populations and animal species. Yes, that’s it, basically, they infest animals, live on the blood of their carriers and carry diseases, which allows the “regulation” of species and the conservation of the most valiant. Really dirty work, chip.
To stay with the theme of disgusting little buggers: termites. As I will absolutely not teach you: they love wood. This food (and in particular the cellulose it contains), once rejected, is a very good binder for the soil, allowing in particular to prevent its erosion. By digging, and like the rat, they aerate the earth and reintroduce nutrients. Finally, they serve as food for many predators.
4. Rattlesnakes (snake)
These large snakes feed mainly on mice, rats, squirrels and birds. Like the chip, they therefore provide population control work. Not cool, but useful. But that’s not all: snakes swallow whole! Thus, when they digest the eaten animals, they also reject and disperse the seeds and other elements eaten by the poor victim. In this way, they contribute to the maintenance of the ecosystem!
But is it an overview of deg and creepy animals or what? Even if it is not the bird that inspires us the most sympathy, the vulture saves us a lot of hassle! By feasting on carrion, it also destroys the infections and diseases they might carry, and avoids contaminating the soil and other animals. Thanks to the particularly corrosive acid of its stomach, it can swallow infected elements without suffering. It is therefore a natural and ultra effective cleaner of the environment!
In contrast, diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug often given to cattle and pigs, is lethal to scavengers. In 1990 and the early 2000s, it almost decimated all Asian vultures.
Failing to go from rooster to donkey, let’s go from vulture to shark (not bad, eh?). Sharks are like the kings of the oceans: they are at the top of the food chain. They feed on fish, which have themselves fed on a lower link in the chain, and so on down to plankton. If sharks did not exist: second-tier fish would be too numerous and even lower levels would quickly disappear.
Beavers are the “keystones” of the ecosystem: they don’t just participate in it, they actually create one! Beautiful goooosses. By building dams, they help to control flooding, and create areas of wetlands ideal for the life of other animals and plants. They also reduce soil erosion, clear trees, and cause very little environmental damage since they feed only on aquatic plants, bark and leaves. As important for the ecosystem as mims: everything to please!
In the family of far too cute animals, mougnoumougnmougnouuuu: the wombats. No, but look at their little love face there! Short. These little Australian marsupials love to dig holes. In this way, they break up hard soils and recycle organic matter. They dig perfect furrows for seeds. Budding small farmers! To top it off: they are among the animals that help each other and do not hesitate to house other animals in their shelters in case of danger (such as during fires).
The little extra to know: they make square droppings. Even on the most disgusting stuff, they are saucy.
Just like their cousins the bees, wasps are excellent pollinators! By this action, they help to re-sow certain plants. To feed their larvae, they hunt small creatures such as spiders, moths and aphids. In this way, they participate in regulating the number and prevent certain plantations from being ravaged by these critters.
We’ve already proven that these little beasts are the best on earth, here’s more proof! Once again, it is about soil aeration and nutrient recycling. By digging their tunnels, ants reduce the need for fertilizer. A big boost for farmers! Thanks mates.