Crawl, buzz, sting, hop, fly--- that's what insects do!

There are nearly one million known species of insects, with more being discovered every year.  They can be predators, prey, parasites, hosts, herbivores, or decomposers. 

Insects do not have a backbone.  Instead they have an exoskeleton; a hard outside that protects their insides.  Outside, they have three main body parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.  They also have two antennae and six legs--which can sense sound vibrations and movement and taste and smell food (although they don’t have taste buds and noses like we do). Inside, they have a brain, a nervous system, a heart, a gut for digestion, and a tracheae to breathe.

The smallest insect is the fairy fly (really a wasp) and is only 0.08 inches.  Some stick insects grow as large as 12 inches. The largest insects can weigh up to 2.5 ounces. 

Did you know that there are more kinds of beetles in the world than any other type of animal?  Or, that the weight of ants alone is roughly equal to the weight of all human beings on Earth?  Wow!