Shadows can reveal things we may not otherwise notice. We might see new details or shapes, or even additional organisms that were not at first obvious. Shadows also highlight the shape of the object on which the shadow is cast, and show which parts of the organism are touching the surface. They can help explain complex shapes and how parts fit together.
Thanks to natural science author and illustrator Robin Lee Carlson, I now understand why a water strider’s shadow looks like it has big round feet. Fascinating.