Are Insects Animals?

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    What Is Phylogeny?

    The phylogeny of a species relates to the history of its evolution[1]. A phylogeny is a description of the evolutionary history of a species or group of organisms. 

    An phylogenetic tree assumes that plants or animals descend from common ancestors and have evolved different adaptations based on their environment. 

    In most cases, phylogenies are based on indirect evidence, since many species of living organisms have become extinct and cannot be studied. Therefore, most phylogenies are really hypotheses rather than facts. 

    In general, phylogenies are theories that explain how a species has evolved to become what it is today, and a species or a group of species may have multiple phylogenies. 

    As a result of phylogeny, living organisms can be classified in accordance with their relationships. This is referred to as a taxonomic system, which is a method of classifying organisms into groups that fall into other groups. It is possible, for example, to have a species that belongs to a family that belongs to a class. These are all taxonomic groups that classify organisms. 

    An organism’s taxonomy is determined by how similar it is to another organism. An organism may be classified into the same class or family if it shares many of the same characteristics. As one moves down the taxonomic system, the specifications of each taxonomic group become more and more specific. 

    What Are Arthropods?

    Arthropods belong to the phylum Arthropoda, which is part of the kingdom Animalia.[2]

    As invertebrates, arthropods have exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and pairs of legs. The legs of an arthropod are symmetrical bilaterally, which means that they have matching pairs on each side of the body. 

    An arthropod goes through various stages of development and must molt its exoskeleton at each stage in order to grow. When they molt, they shed their current exoskeleton and reveal a new one underneath. Some arthropods have wings, while others do not. 

    Arthropods comprise a diverse group of animals with up to 10 million species. In arthropods, hemolymph is present, which is somewhat similar to blood in humans. As it circulates through their bodies, it assists them in performing their daily tasks. 

    The majority of arthropods possess compound eyes in addition to ocelli, which are smaller eyes used for detecting the direction of light. A spider is one of the only arthropods that has ocelli that can see images and move around in order to locate prey. 

    Close up of a light brown buthus scorpion (scorpio occitanus)
    The scorpion evolved a long time before the first dinosaurs, making it one of the oldest arthropods.

    Arthropods generally develop from eggs, but some species give birth to live young after the embryos or eggs hatch inside the mother. 

    The appearance of arthropods after hatching or birth varies, with some emerging as miniature adults, while others emerging as grubs or caterpillars that must undergo metamorphosis before emergence as adults. 

    Several arthropod species fail to care for their young and simply allow their eggs to hatch and be on their own. Arthropods living in social groups provide care for their young throughout their development. 

    Arthropods are an essential part of the human food supply. In many cultures, arthropods are eaten directly as food, either cooked or raw. Further, arthropods play an important role in pollinating a wide variety of crops. 

    Pollination occurs when an animal or the wind transfers pollen between flowers and helps them reproduce. In the absence of pollination, many plants would not be able to reproduce and would die out.

    Due to the fact that humans consume many plants as food, arthropods are vital to our survival. 

    What Is an Insect?

    Insects are organisms that belong to the class Insecta. The insect is a pancrustacean hexapod invertebrate. [3]  Because Insecta is a class within the phylum Arthropoda, insects are also arthropods. 

    Insects have three main parts to their bodies: a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. They have three pairs of jointed legs, a pair of antennae, and compound eyes. Insects also possess ocelli, which are smaller eyes that detect the direction from which light is coming. 

    Insects are the most diverse group of animals. Insects comprise more than half of all recognized living organisms on Earth, and there are more than a million species of them. 

    There are insects almost everywhere in the world, including in the sea, although they are more common on land and in the air. The majority of insects hatch from eggs and undergo a series of molts in which their exoskeleton is shed and a new one is revealed. 

    Close up of a locust insect on a leaf in an botanical garden in Ecuador
    Locusts can be very problematic as once these insects begin to swarm they are almost impossible to stop.

    All flying insects descend from the same common ancestor, and insects are the only invertebrates that are capable of flying. A number of insects have larval stages that occur underwater, and some insects remain in or on the water as adults. 

    Insects are generally solitary creatures, but some species, such as bees, termites, and wasps, can live in colonies. Insect species communicate by means of pheromones, sounds, or even light, as in the case of fireflies. 

    As members of the arthropod phylum, insects are also important pollinators. Insects play an important role in pollinating many food sources used by humans, so it is crucial that they be protected as pollinators. 

    Are Insects Animals?

    Insects are animals because they belong to the kingdom Animalia. Even though many people do not think of insects as animals, they are classified as such because they are multicellular eukaryotes. 

    The term eukaryotic refers to organisms with nuclei and membrane-bound organelles. In essence, it means that insects have complex cells that form their bodies. It is possible for eukaryotes to consist of one or more cells. 

    Eukaryotic cells contain DNA within their nucleus, which is an organelle. DNA is organized into chromosomes, which are long molecules that determine the genetic activity of a cell or organism. There are also Golgi apparatuses, mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulums in eukaryotic cells.

    Animals are defined by their eukaryotic and multicellular nature. In other words, they are composed of multiple cells that make up their bodies, and these cells are eukaryotic, as described above. 

    What Is the Difference Between Insects and Bugs?

    Insects Bugs
    Scientific Classification Insects make up the class Insecta. Bugs are part of the order Hemiptera, which is part of the class Insecta. All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs.
    Life Stages Insects have four life stages, a larval stage, a pupal stage, a nymph stage, and an adult stage. Bugs have three life stages without a pupal stage. They have a larval stage, a nymph stage, and an adult stage.
    Appearance Insects may have retractable mouthparts. Most insects have four wings and two antennae. All insects have six legs and three body parts, a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. Bugs share all of the features of insects, as well as a few specific features that only bugs share. True bugs have a mouth shaped like a straw that they use to eat, typically sucking nectar from plants. This is called a proboscis. A proboscis of a true bug cannot be retracted.

    How to Identify an Insect

    Insects are identified by the three parts of their bodies: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. 

    Insects have six pairs of legs and an exoskeleton made of chitin. The majority of insects have a pair or multiple pairs of wings, and all insects have antennae. The appearance of insects is extremely diverse, but these characteristics make it relatively easy for them to be identified. 

    Many creatures on earth are similar to insects, but their legs differentiate them from insects. 

    It is always the case that insects have six pairs of legs, in contrast to many organisms that are confused with insects that do not possess six pairs of legs. In addition, insects are easily distinguished from other organisms by their three body parts. 

    What Percentage of the World's Animals Are Insects?

    The world’s animals are likely to comprise more than 90% insects. It is estimated that there are more than a million species of insects described. 

    There are likely to be many species of insects that are not described, and the number of insect species on the planet is estimated to be as high as 10 million. There are always new species of insects being discovered and described. 

    How Many Undiscovered Insects Exist?

    Although it is difficult to estimate the number of undiscovered insects, it is possible that there are as many as 10 million insect species that have not yet been named or described. 

    As humans have only discovered a fraction of the earth’s animal species, there are still a large number of insects and other animals that have not been discovered, identified, or studied by scientists. 

    Due to their small size and diversity, insects are particularly difficult to study. As a result of their small size, many insects can easily hide from humans. Furthermore, there is always a need to differentiate between various species of insects due to their diverse characteristics. 

    Is a Millipede an Insect?

    Since millipedes possess more than six legs and do not have three segments on their bodies, they cannot be classified as insects. 

    However, millipedes are arthropods. However, they are more closely related to lobsters and shrimp than to insects. It is common for millipedes and centipedes to be confused with insects, but they have more body segments and legs than true insects do. 


    [1] Britannica [2] Wikipedia [3] Wikipedia

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