When a hydroelectric dam flooded thousands of acres in Venezuela.. the water created thousands of islands - a fragmentation akin to the virtual islands created around the world as humans cut down trees, build shopping malls, and sprawl from urban centers. The islands in Venezuela were too small to support the creatures at the top of the food chain - predators such as jaguars, pumas, and eagles. Their disappearance sparked a chain of reactions. Animals such as monkeys, leafcutter ants, and other herbivores, whose population was no longer kept in check by predation, thrived and subsequently destroyed vegetation; the ecosystem collapsed.
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