Flying Mantis

What are insects?

Flying Mantis


Insects are animals.

  • There are more kinds of insects, more individual insects and a larger
    total mass of insects than all other animals combined.

Rhinoceros Beetle


Insects are arthropods.

  • Arthropods are invertebrates—they don’t have skeletons inside their bodies. Instead, every arthropod has an exoskeleton—a tough covering on the outside which provides support for muscles and organs.

  • Arthropods have jointed legs—in fact, that’s what gives them their name. Arthropod comes from the Greek for "jointed foot."


What’s notan insect?

All insects are arthropods, but not all arthropods are insects.

Besides insects, other arthropods include:

  • Arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions

  • Crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters

  • Myriapods, such as centipedes and millipedes


How can you tell?

Click here to find out.

Return to the Insects Page   |   Return to Pacific Science Center Exhibits On-Line
© 2000 Pacific Science Center