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Why insects are so crucial to life on Earth.

The decline of global insect populations, critical for ecosystems and food sources, due to factors like habitat destruction, climate change, and human activities, poses a significant threat.

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Insects dominate the planet, composing 70% of known species with a biomass 16 times that of humans. They play vital ecological roles: as food for various animals and crucial pollinators for both wild plants and crops. However, global insect population is decreasing at an alarming rate due to numerous factors: habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species, and human activities such as farming and pesticide use. This decline, evidenced by various studies, threatens ecosystems and food sources, potentially leading to widespread starvation. Human actions have caused substantial damage to insect-rich environments, affecting soils and river systems.

Vocabulary:

• Biomass: The total mass of living organisms.

• Evidenced: Supported by evidence, something that is proven or supported by facts or proof.

• Threatens: Indicates a potential danger or harm.

• Widespread: covering a large area or affecting a large number of people.

• Starvation: Severe suffering or death caused by a lack of food.

• Soils: earth, ground, dirt.

• Dragonfly: A type of flying insect with a slender body.

• Wingspan: The distance from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other when both wings are fully extended.

• Soared: Flew upwards or horizontally with great height or speed.

• Amongst: In the midst of or surrounded by something.

• Fern: A green plant.

• Bewildering: Confusing or perplexing.

• Array: A large and diverse display or arrangement of something.

• Land-dwelling: Living on land, on ground.

• Toll: The negative effect or damage caused by something.

• Earwig: A small insect with pincers at the back of its body.

• Lure: to attract.

• Moth: A nocturnal insect.

• Bash: To strike something with force.

• Disrupt: To interrupt.

• Cope: To manage or deal effectively with something difficult.

• Cockroach: An insect with long antennae and a flat, oval body.

• Furry: Covered of hairs.

• Silt: Fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and deposited as a sediment.

• Reliant: Dependent on or needing someone or something for support or survival.

Source: BBC Ideas YouTube channel.

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