The opening quotation is found in Josè Ortega y Gasset's Meditations on Quixote (1914), from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.
E.O. Wilson, (The Diversity of Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1992) estimates that two-thirds of the world's rainforests lie on "wet deserts."
Myers, N., (The Primary Source: Tropical Forests and Our Future, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1984) examines erosion rates for plantation and field crops.
Attenborough, D. (The Living Planet, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984) suggests that the loss of large mammals in Southeast Asian forests may be a threat to Rafflesia epiphytes.
The Sumatran rhino population is estimated in Morales, J.C. et al., "Mitochondrial DNA Variability and Conservation Genetics of the Sumatran Rhinoceros," Conservation Biology Vol. 11 No. 2 (539-43), Apr 1997.
Van Oosterzee, P. (Where Worlds Collide, New York: Cornell University Press, 1997) provides an overview of moundbuilders' nest building behavior.
The description of Amazonian reptiles comes from Clark, L., The Rivers Ran East. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1953.
Ross, E. ("Droppings From On High: In Tropical Forests Nothing Goes to Waste," Discover Magazine. California Academy of Sciences, Summer 1996) discusses mimicry among ithomine butterflies.
Forsyth, A. and Miyata, K. in Tropical Nature, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984) describe army ants and the other species that have come to depend on exploiting insect life stirred up by the ant columns.
The scenario for a world without insects is derived from Erwin, T. L., "Biodiversity at its Utmost: Tropical Forest Beetles," Biodiversity II. Reaka-Kudla, Wilson, Wilson, eds. Joseph Henry Press, Washington D. C. 1997.
E.O. Wilson notes that the only species to suffer extinction should humans disappear are the mites that live in human hair follicles and sebaceous glands (The Diversity of Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1992).
The magnification of leaf-cutter ants is presented in an information packet from International Expeditions 1993.
The beneficial pruning of leaves by leaf-cutter ants is mentioned in Morgan, R.C. "Leaf-Cutting Ants," Backyard Bugwatching, No. 13, 1991.