Which microbes

live on the


Most animals are tightly connected with microbes. Microbes live in their intestines, in their mouths, and on their skin. Microbes are important for the health of most animals. Since many animals have more microbial cells living in or on them than they have animal cells, it looks like animals evolved as homes for microbes.

Animals supply microbes with food and shelter. You could say that animals throw a continuous party for microbes. That is why animals are called “hosts” for microbes. Often when people think about microbes and animals, they think of disease. However, most microbes do animals more good than harm. Since we can’t see them when they are being good, we only notice when microbes are bad and cause disease. Here is your chance to see how microbes assist us and other animals.

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  1. Habitat on Humans
    The right microbes on our skin and in our intestines keep us humans healthy.
  2. Cow Rumen
    Concerning milk and meat, humans depend on cows. Find out how cows depend on microbes for their food. Cows and other animals called ruminants have a special stomach called rumen which hosts billions of microbes that help these animals survive.
  3. Termite Gut
    You probably thought termites digested wood. They don’t, but the microbes that live inside their guts do. By digesting wood bits, the bacteria and protists in the termite’s guts help the termites survive. In return, the termite gives the microbes a comfortable place to stay.
  4. Poo Corner
    One product of all animals is dung. Without microbes the world would be a really poopy place, since they help to get rid of all the dung. Check out Poo Corner to see the microbes that make this world a cleaner place.