Quite literally, a ‘minibeast’ is simply a small animal. Spiders, snails, slugs, beetles, centipedes, worms, earwigs, caterpillars are just a few.

Minibeasts in Food Chains

The mini-predators in the leaf litter are, in turn, eagerly eaten by larger carnivores, such as birds, lizards, weasels, badgers and foxes. When a herbivore eats a plant….and then a carnivore eats the herbivore….the sequence of events is called a food chain. Each plant or animal is a link in the chain. Invertebrates are involved in the thousands of food chains that exist in every ecosystem. Here is a five-link chain involving a herbivorous minibeast and a carnivorous one:-

Minibeast Food Chain

 

 

 

 

 

The ground beetle, the shrew and the fox will all eat other animals too. There are so many connections between food chains that we should really think of every plant and animal as part of a complicated food web, rather than as a link in a straight chain. Minibeasts are, of course, very important members of a food web.

Read More: Collecting Minibeasts

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