Whether you love them or hate them, insects are almost everywhere. Flies buzzing around your kitchen, ants crawling over your patio, caterpillars eating their way through your vegetable patch. But insects are truly amazing creatures.
They are very diverse but all insects follow a set body design of 6 legs, 2 antennae and 4 wings (or the potential to have them). But, each kind of insect has come up with its own way of using these limitations for the benefit of their species. You may remember that last year I wrote a list of fun facts about insects. Now, let’s find out a little bit more in this second list of interesting insect facts:
- Flies have only 2 wings, rather than 4. The second pair has been tweaked by evolution and become a pair of organs used for balance
- Insects are the most successful type of animal. 66% of all known animal species are insects
- Beetles are the most successful type of insect. There are almost 300,000 different species of beetle on Earth
- Brains are not that important to insects. Cockroaches can actually live for as long as 3 weeks without a head! What kills them in the end is starvation because, without a head, they can’t eat
- It’s thought that insects experience time at a much slower pace than we do. That explains why flies will always dodge your attempts to swat them
- A mosquito’s wings flap an amazing 500 times a second!
- Insects vastly outnumber humans. It’s estimated that 10,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quadrillion) ants live on Earth. That’s almost 1.5 million ants for every human – and that’s just ants, never mind beetles, flies and the millions of other species
- While we are on the subject of ants, did you know that they can carry 50 times their own weight? That’s like an average man lifting an elephant over his head!
- Many insects taste with their feet. Butterflies and houseflies both do this. So, if you see a fly crawling on your dinner he’s just tasting it to see if it’s worth eating!
Not many of us like creepy crawlies of any kind, but we do! We have quizzes devoted to insects, spiders and other invertebrates in our Nature section, where you’ll find trivia on many different bugs – from moths to millipedes! A must for all invertebrate aficionados!
If that’s not enough and you want to find out even more about insects, then take a look at Buglife. They have loads of info on our six-legged friends along with ways you can help. Go on, check it out.