Our champs Lúa y Diego love insects. With a magnifying glass, in the midst of the thick grass of the garden, they find a place in which small creatures of the animal world live hidden away in the bushes, flowers and ferns. But, what is it about insects that make them so alluring?
Insects are creatures that adapt easily to any habitat; for example, they can live in a desert, in forests with a lot of rain and even in areas where there is snow. Besides, because they are small, they can build their nests in any corner and feed on tiny quantities of food. In this way, they can live on land or in water.
Some may hear the word insect and say… yuck! They may even wrinkle up their noses, feel tingly or afraid. But our champs think differently. In a world in which everything is so big, they love to find these teeny living beings. But, what exactly are insects like?
Characteristics of an insect
Insects are invertebrates, that is, they do not have a backbone, unlike mammals, fish, birds or reptiles. Most insects also have wings, antennae and big eyes. Another important characteristic is that they have six legs.
This is why spiders are not considered insects, because they have eight legs. Other examples of animals that we cannot call insects are scorpions, worms, cochineals and snails. Did you know that there are currently more than 1 million types of insects?
Parts of an insect
- Exoskeleton. The insect’s body is covered by a shell, the exoskeleton, which is made up of a substance called chitin. It is hard and found on the back of the insect, its legs, eyes, antennae and even in its throat.
- Legs. All insects have three pairs of legs: six in all. Since they are jointed, insects can walk, run and jump.
- Wings. Many insects have wings. Some, like the butterflies, have large extended wings outside the exoskeleton. Others, like the beetles, fold their wings under their shell to protect them.
- Antennae. The antennae differ in the insects. Some, like the crickets, have long and thin ones, whereas others, like flies, have small and hairy antennae.
- Eyes. The eyes of insects are really interesting because each one is made up of hundreds of mini-eyes that allow them to spot any movement around them and escape in case of danger.
After getting to know the peculiarities of insects, we know that butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, flies and crickets belong to this species. What other animals do you know you’d say are also insects? Tell us about them!