The way in which animals are classified follows a specific categorization, and not all animals will fall into the same groups. There are so many things that will determine which category an animal is placed into, and this will all depend on a variety of different factors.
Something that you may or may not have already known is that there are lots of different categories that different animals may fall under. Many people will be left wondering whether or not insects are animals, which is something that we are going to explain in this article.
How Are Living Things Classified?
The way in which different living things are categorised is called taxonomy. This will start with broader groups, like bacteria or animals, and it will progress further into more specific categorizations. All of these groups will have different names at different levels, and it can get confusing when you try to learn them all.
A great example of these classifications can be shown through humans, which are animals. Animals are organisms that belong to the kingdom Animalia. They are more closely related to other animals than they are to anything else, including things like plants and bacteria, which is why they belong in this group.
There are additional classifications, like chordates, which are animals that have backbones, and mammals, which are animals with mammary glands. As well as this, there are primates like monkeys and apes, humans, and more. The way that organisms are grouped is helpful for pinpointing a certain type of animal and eliminating others that are not what you are looking for.
Are Insects Animals?
Insects are animals, but not in the same way that humans are. Insects are further classified as arthropods and hexapods. Insects are one of many classes within the Animalia kingdom, and they have an exoskeleton that covers the body.
Adult insects will have a body with three segments, which are the head, thorax, and abdomen. The majority of insects will have wings, but this cannot be said for all of them. So, insects are animals, but they are just one class within this wider category.
Which Animals Are Insects?
Some of the most identifiable insects are butterflies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, ants, dragonflies, flies, and grasshoppers. There are lots of different types of species when it comes to insects, making it difficult to list them all.
Which Animals Are Not Insects?
Some animals that many people mistake to be insects are spiders, crabs, and scorpions, but they are not. All of these are arthropods, and they are closely related to insects, but they do not fall into this category. Additionally, they do share some traits with insects, like their multiple jointed legs and exoskeleton.
Spiders are also often thought to be insects, but they are not. They can easily be distinguished from insects due to the fact that they have eight legs instead of six, and they also only have two body segments instead of three.
What Do Insects Look Like?
Most of the insects that we know of are small, and they will typically measure at less than 6mm in length. However, the range in size of these insects is very wide, and some of them are so tiny that they are almost microscopic. However, there are also some insects that can measure as large as 27cm if you consider their wingspan, which is pretty impressive. Some of the biggest insects will include Hercules beetles, African goliath beetles, and some types of Australian stick insects.
With lots of different species of insects, the difference in their body structure between the sexes is quite pronounced. This means that once you know what you are looking out for, it can become quite easy to identify whether the insect is male or female. The knowledge of one sex, can help you to determine the other.
What Are Arthropods?
If you were wondering, arthropods have jointed legs, segmented bodies, and an exoskeleton. They are extremely diverse, and they inhabit all kinds of environments on Earth. Interestingly, they make up 84% of all known animal species, and insects make up the majority of these species. It is thought by entomologists that most arthropods are still yet to be discovered. It is estimated that there are as many as 10 million undescribed species.
What Percentage of the World’s Animals Are Insects?
Insects make up around 70% of all animal species, which is a really big portion of all animals. To date, there are around one million different described species of insects that have been recorded, which makes an impressive record to search through. There are so many different types of insects that it can be difficult to keep up.
However, this percentage does not account for the variety of insects that have yet to be discovered, so this number could be even higher. If you were to look at invertebrates, which includes arachnids, crustaceans, and many other species, you would find that they make up around 96% of all identified animal species. We will leave a list below to give you an idea of how many different species there are of certain categories.
- Insects: – 1,000,000
- Mammals – 5,487
- Birds – 9,990
- Reptiles – 8,734
- Fish – 31,153
- Amphibians – 6,515
How Many Insects Are There?
It has been estimated that the total number of insects in the world is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000. There are insects on every non-Arctic landmass across the world, which leaves plenty of room for insects to inhabit. It would be impossible to give an exact number as there are too many insects to count individually, but this is a great guide.
Scientists also estimate that there are around 100 trillion ants roaming around the world, which is much more than us humans. You might be left wondering how there are so many insects in the world, but if you think about it, it is totally possible. There are insects almost everywhere that you look, and the same can be said in most locations around the world.