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As it allows for rapid yet stable movement, many insects adopt a tripedal gait in which they walk with their legs touching the ground in alternating triangles.
Insects are the only invertebrates to have evolved flight.
The higher level relationship of the Hexapoda is unclear.
Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22–28 in).
Insects are the most diverse group of animals; they include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms.
Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts.
The evolutionary relationship of insects to other animal groups remains unclear.
Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae.
Insect pollinators are essential to the life cycle of many flowering plant species on which most organisms, including humans, are at least partly dependent; without them, the terrestrial portion of the biosphere would be devastated.
Many insects are considered ecologically beneficial as predators and a few provide direct economic benefit.
Silkworms and bees have been used extensively by humans for the production of silk and honey, respectively.
Insects are consumed as food in 80% of the world's nations, by people in roughly 3000 ethnic groups.