The Gifted Four were relaxing in their dorm room. That’s when Felix called out, “Mysticals! Mysticals! Come here! You need to hear about this! Scientists have found a whole new ecosystem of insects in the Amazon Rainforest!”
“Eww, creepy crawly insects!” said Orak, making a face.
Felix cajoled him, “Oh, Orak! Don’t be like that. To you, insects might look icky but they are an important part of our ecosystems. It’s super necessary that they be studied.”
Orak sighed and replied, “Okay, in that case, go on.”
“Many entomologists (insect scientists) have studied the insect life in the Amazon. But most research was restricted to the moss and underbrush on the rainforest floor,” explained Felix, “In 2017, this changed. An entomologist called José Albertino Rafael decided to study insects high up in the canopy of the trees. This was nearly 105 feet in the air.
Rafael and his colleagues went to a 131-foot tower constructed in the middle of the rainforest just outside Manaus, a city in Brazil. Over two weeks, they trapped insects at 26-feet distances from the ground level. They collected and examined 37,000 specimens of insects. Most of these were flies.”
Orak’s mouth was agape with horror. For him, 37,000 insects were too many insects. Scorch and Verum giggled as they looked at his comical face.
“A team of scientists then sorted the insects into flies, beetles, bugs, and more. Then, they focused on flies and divided about 16,000 specimens into 56 families and 857 species,” continued Felix, “Different species of flies were found in large numbers at different levels. Over 60% of the fly species were found above the ground level.
A lot remains unknown about insects. You see, they are tiny and found almost everywhere. Studies like this one indicate how many species of insects are yet to be discovered. And the number is quite high. That’s why it’s important to study insects.”