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On the Surface
These are the most visible creatures, and often the only ones people know about. 

Starting with the birds - like blackbirds and robins, which eat the worms, insect larvae, and and beetles that scuttle around on the soil surface. These beetles feed on the smaller soil creatures that we can't see so easily with the human eye, so the presence of beetles is a sign of healthy soil teeming with animal life.

Top Down



Going Down
Going Down
These are the grazers which dwell in the leaf litter and  breaking it down.

Just below the surface, in the leaf litter, you find a host of mesofauna that can just  be seen with the human eye (but a magnifying glass or microscope helps). These animals break down plant and fungal material into smaller more bacteria-friendly packages.




Down Deeper
These creatures live in and burrow through the broken down leaf litter and soil.

Earthworms that live deep down shift huge amounts of soil, their role as tunnel diggers is vital to many other creatures. Many of these creatures have important relationships with plant and fungal roots - like symphyla (a cousin of the millipede) which feed on plant roots and can be a crop pest.



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