Just about everyone encounters some form of insect on a daily basis – it’s inescapable. Despite their prevalence and ubiquity, they may go basically unnoticed by most people. Here are some interesting insect facts to consider next time you see an insect creeping about.
- There are between 6-10 million different species of insects in the world. While the actual number of individual insects in the world is thought to be at least in the quadrillions or higher, there is an extreme amount of diversity with 6-10 million species in the class of Insecta, which is the scientific name for insects.
- The above number is speculative, because scientists have only actually cataloged 1.5 total species of living creatures on the earth. 2/3rds of known living species, or 1 million known & cataloged species of living creatures, belong to the ever-present insects.
- Thought to be the most numerous of insects, there are estimated to be more than 10 quadrillion ants on Earth. This means there’s at least a million ants on Earth, and due to their strength, we could technically each be carried around by our own collection of ants if that were a thing.
- As far as biodiversity is concerned, the most broad and successful living creatures are the beetles. The beetles, of the order Coleoptera, consists of more than 400,000 different species.
- Insects have been around for about 400,000 years. This means they were around long before and long after the dinosaurs. This is likely due to their adaptability, quick life cycle, and the breadth of their range.
- Speaking of range, insects are one of the few living creatures that are found on every continent. Even Antarctica has the tiny Belgica antarctica. Perhaps ironically, there are no ants on Antarctica.
- There are no ocean-dwelling insects. As widespread and successful as insects are, you will be hard-pressed to find any if you’re out at sea.
- Insects breath through their exoskeleton. Insects exchange oxygen through structures called spiracles on their exoskeletons. From their, oxygen is transported throughout the insects body through the trachea system.
- Insects don’t have veins, arteries, capillaries or any such structure. Their organs soak in a bath of blood within their body, and as mentioned, the trachea system ensures a fresh supply of oxygen to that blood.
There you have 9 basic but interesting facts about insects. Perhaps next time you see one, you will admire its success and beauty, rather than being creeped out.