Throughout their evolution, arthropods have successfully invaded new ecological niches.
- Cleaner shrimp run underwater “service stations”, where fish come to be cleaned of parasites and old scales by the attending shrimp.
- Australian trapdoor spiders construct elaborate snares for unsuspecting insects. Their burrows are equipped with a disguised trapdoor and a starburst of twigs. The spider lies in wait, monitoring the vibrations in the twigs for signs of prey passing overhead, and then ambushes its victim.
- Leafcutter ant colonies live on communal fungal farms: workers tend subterranean fungal gardens and then harvest and consume the fungus.
- The parasitic crustacean, Cymothoa exigua, is a freeloader — it lives in a fish’s mouth, attached to the fish’s tongue and feasting on its blood. Hey, may be gross, but it’s a living!
- A locust swarm will consume almost anything green (including fabric and plastic!) and can strip a field bare in minutes.
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