ANIMALS IN THE BALANCE OF NATURE


Compared to plants, animals make up only a small part of the total mass of living matter on earth. Despite this, they play an important part in shaping and maintaining natural environments.

Many habitats are directly influenced by the way animals live. Grasslands, for example, exist partly because grasses and grazing animals have evolved a close partnership, which prevents other plants from taking hold. Tropical forests also owe their existence to animals, because most of their trees rely on animals to distribute their pollen and seeds. Soil is partly the result of animal activity, because earthworms and other invertebrates help to break down dead remains and recycle the nutrients that they contain. Without its animal life, the soil would soon become compacted and infertile.

By preying on each other, animals also help to keep their own numbers in check. This prevents abrupt population peaks and crashes and helps to give living systems a built-in stability. On a global scale, animals also influence some of the nutrient cycles on which almost all life depends. They distribute essential mineral elements in their waste, and they help to replenish the atmosphere's carbon dioxide when they breathe. This carbon dioxide is then used by plants as they grow.

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ANIMALS:


INTRODUCTION
TYPES OF ANIMALS
Vertebrates and Invertebrates
Cold-blooded and Warm-blooded Animals
ANIMAL HABITATS
Aquatic Habitats
Land Habitats
FEEDING
Herbivores and Carnivores
Other Feeding Strategies
BREATHING
MOVEMENT
Jointed Limbs
Patterns of Movement
REPRODUCTION
Forms of Reproduction
Reproductive Strategies
Mating Systems
Parental Care
STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL
Physical Adaptations
Behavioral Adaptations
ORIGINS OF ANIMALS
Moving onto Land
Speciation and Extinction
ANIMALS IN THE BALANCE OF NATURE
Animals and People



DOGS:


INTRODUCTION
Dog Family
Dog Racing
Dog Shows and Trials
Dogsledding
Herding Dogs
Hounds
Nonsporting Dogs
Sporting Dogs
Terriers
Toy Breeds
Working Dogs


Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Bearded Collie
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Tervuren
Bernese Mountain Dog
Border Collie
Bouvier des Flandres
Briard
Collie
German Shepherd Dog
Great Pyrenees
Kelpie
Kerry Blue Terrier
Kuvasz
Old English Sheepdog
Puli
Rottweiler
Shetland Sheepdog
Welsh Corgi



WOLVES:


INTRODUCTION
Coyote
Gray Wolf
Red Wolf



FOXES:


INTRODUCTION
THE RED FOX
OTHER FOXES
Fennec, African fox
Fox Hunting
Red Fox

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