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The Mighty Beetle

There are about 350,000 different kinds of beetles. They make up the largest order of animals in the entire world! That means there are more types of beetles than fish, birds, or any other kind of animal. They live almost anywhere, and there are many kinds found in the rainforest.

Beetles come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but are generally flat in shape. They have strong legs for running, and two pairs of wings that protect their bodies. Their heads are narrow and they have pincers. You know how you have a jaw to chew your food? Well, insects have pincers to grasp, crush, and cut their food. Ground beetles are fierce. They use their pincers to defend themselves from predators like toads, snakes, birds, and mice. Tiger beetles are known for their hunting skills and are able to catch flying prey.

Boat-backed ground beetle Temperate forest Liam Mahoney Photographer
Beetles enjoy moist climates like the rainforest. You can find them hidden under rocks, logs, and leaf litter on the rainforest floor. Some beetles live in the canopy. They might never travel to the forest floor because they have everything they need to live.

"The first thing that caught my attention was the size of this large beetle, which made it hard to miss when I rolled a log and spotted it next to an empty snail shell. With its huge, strong jaws, this beetle can break open a snail shell and devour the snail inside. The beetle’s back is broad and rounded and a striking iridescent blue", Liam Mahoney.

Have you ever seen a beetle? What do they look like where you live?

Get this: Ground Beetle

Photographer Liam Mahoney
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 3:Chapter 1, Lesson 1, Grades K, 3 -4

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