Ironically, insects are dying out, too. In Puerto Rico, for example, their numbers dropped 60 percent between 1976 and 2013, leading to catastrophic consequences for the island's food chain. The timing of the study is intriguing to Misha Leong, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences. "Insects are disappearing from textbooks, but they're disappearing in real-life systems as well," she says. If insect numbers continue to decline, she says, that could be reflected in textbooks for years to come.