5 min read

5 Animals Humans Need For Survival

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Every life on Earth is worth protecting, but there are a few that need some extra attention - we may not be able to live without them!

1. Honeybees

(Flickr/JKD Atlanta)

Bees provide the world with something far more important than delicious honey: they provide pollination - which is what makes most of the plant life on Earth grow. It allows plants, flowers, trees and fruits to exist which, in turn, feeds both other animals and humans. Unfortunately, human interaction with nature has caused the bee population across the world to decrease by an estimated 250 billion bees.

2. Bats

(Flickr/Mark Evans)

Nowadays, when people think of bats they immediately equate them with vampires. But only one species of bat a ctually drinks blood, so there's really no need to fear them. In fact, bats have a positive influence on life on the planet. Bats comprise one in every five mammals in the wild, and are one of the largest consumers of insects on Earth. That basically means that they keep the creepy crawlers from taking over! So when you lay your head down to sleep tonight, you can thank your friendly neighborhood bats for making sure you won't wake up next to a spider in your bed.

3. Plankton

(Wikimedia Commons)

It's a common misconception that plankton are only plants, but the term actually refers to any tiny living organism underneath the water that is virtually incapable of moving on its own. Why are plankton important? Because they're the reason we can all breathe. Through photosynthesis and some healthy appetites, both phytoplankton and zooplankton play an important role in converting energy into oxygen and distributing it around the world. Take a deep breath and say thank you, because plankton are responsible for half of the Earth's oxygen!

4. Primates

(Flickr/insane photoholic)

Our closest cousins in the animal kingdom are also some of the most vital animals on the planet. They may be our closet link when it comes to understanding human history, but their true worth lies in the ecological role they play in the world. In tropical and sub-tropical climates, primates are what is known as a keystone species. They essentially act as the forests' gardeners, by dispersing seeds and pollen through their daily habits such as eating and - uh - defecating. Why is this important? Because tropical rainforests actually influence global rainfall patterns, so the trees that primates help grow actually work to sustain life on Earth.

5. Butterflies

(Flickr/Diganta Talukdar)

Aside from looking absolutely beautiful and helping spread pollen through their wings, butterflies help predict climate change. Studies have indicated that European butterflies have steadily been moving north, and a large part of this is due to a change in temperature. Butterflies prefer milder climates and studies have shown that they are emerging earlier and navigating north sooner than normal. They provide a way for scientists to study the effects of climate change and provide great insights on how to prevent it.