Predators play key roles in ecosystems. When they are absent or rare, impacts ripple through landscapes, often in unexpected ways. We all rely on the presence and effectiveness of predators, but usually fail to adequately celebrate their importance.
When thinking about predators, most people probably conjure up images of lions, tigers, bears, and other large vertebrates. However, smaller invertebrate predators play the same kinds of critical roles as those big animals. Here are a few portraits of tiny predators that help keep prairies healthy and vibrant.