The Web of Life Sabino Canyon  
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Plants Helping Animals
In Sabino Canyon, there are many examples of plants helping animals.
Photograph of a cactus wren nest built in a cholla cactus

Cactus wrens are common birds in the canyon. (They are also the Arizona state bird.) They like to build nests in a spiny cactus called a cholla. The cactus spines keep *predators* away from the nest.

The wren's nest is also made of twigs and grasses. Cactus wrens eat seeds and berries as well as insects. Plants help the cactus wren in at least three ways:

  1. nest materials
  2. nest protection
  3. food

Plants also help insects. A praying mantis glued her egg case on the highest branch of this paloverde tree. When the eggs hatch, the young insects will eat the insects off the tree.

How is this plant helping the praying mantis? How will the young mantids help the tree?

Question Icon In what other ways do plants help animals?

Photograph of praying mantis egg case on paloverde tree branch


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