The Diversity of Life

Insects and other related invertebrates—such as spiders, millipedes, and butterflies—are the most diverse and abundant animals. They have survived on Earth for more than 300 million years. Invertebrates, which lack backbones or bony skeletons, comprise about 98 percent of the animal kingdom, occupying important places in the food web as primary and secondary consumers and also as decomposers. Explore the role of insects and invertebrates in our national parks and how we learn more about them.

Map of the United States showing all units of the National Park System

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Last updated: February 5, 2019