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Uploaded:2015-04-27
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There are more insects in the world than any other kind of animal! In this episode of SciShow Kids, Jessi and Squeaks show you how to identify an insect, in three easy steps!
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SOURCES:
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2008/october/worlds-longest-insect-revealed22619.html
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/walker/ufbir/chapters/chapter_30.shtml#photo_gallery
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/10-of-the-largest-insects-in-the-world/giant-weta
[Intro]   Ladybugs, house flies, honeybees -- we’re big fans of insects!   And you should be too!   For one thing, they’re everywhere. There are, by far, more insects in the world than any other kind of animal!   And there are LOTS of different species of insects, too -- of all different colors, shapes … even sizes!   Let me introduce you to one of my friends.   This is Holmes, a Northern Walking Stick insect.   You can probably guess why she’s called a walking stick. Northern Walking Stick Insects are from the forests of northeastern North America, where it’s easy for them to blend in with the sticks, twigs and leaves of the woods.    If you ever saw Holmes out in the wild, she’d be pretty hard to find!   Now, Holmes here is bigger than most insects you probably know about. But she isn’t the biggest …   … not even close!   Probably the longest insect in the world is a distant relative of Holmes, called Chan's Megastick. This is a huge type of walking stick insect that lives in the forests of Borneo.   It can grow as long as 36 centimeters -- that’s as big as a … rat!   But other insects can get even bigger!   The heaviest, most massive insect that’s ever been found is the giant weta, from New Zealand. It looks like an enormous cricket, and can weigh more than 70 grams -- that’s about as big as a small bird!   Now, even though they look totally different, the Megastick and the giant weta are the same kind of animal -- and so are tiny ants, flying dragonflies, and buzzing bees.   They’re all insects!   Oh! Good question, Squeaks. How can you tell an insect when you see one?   Well, all insects have 3 big things in common, and they’re pretty easy to spot.   First, insects don’t have any bones!   Lots of animals, like your dog, your cat, a bird, or … you … have a skeleton made of bones. This lets us stand up straight and move around.   But insects have their skeletons on the outside. Instead of bones, they have a hard shell all around their body, called an exoskeleton.   Another thing insects have in common is that their bodies all have three main parts.    Up in front, there’s the head -- it’s where the eyes and mouth are. And usually there’s a pair of long, spindly feelers on top of it, that the insect uses to sense its surroundings. These are called antennae.    Below the head is the middle section called the thorax. This is where you find the legs and  sometimes wings -- but not all insects have wings.   And bringing up the rear is the abdomen -- this is the part where the insect digests food, and if it has a stinger, you’ll find it here, at the very end.   Finally, the third way to make sure that the animal you’re looking at is an insect, is probably the easiest of them all. Just count its legs!   That’s because all insects have six legs. And only six -- whether it’s an ant, or a beetle, a giant weta or a walking stick insect.    So here we have Holmes. Let’s count her legs -- one, two, three, four, five, six.   But what about this centipede? Is it an insect?   How about this spider?   No again -- spiders have eight legs, and insects only have six!   So, now you know the three easy steps for spotting an insect:    One: It has an exoskeleton …   Two: its body divided into a head, thorax, and abdomen …   And three: it has six legs!   So the next time you see a fly or a bee or an ant, stop and take a closer look. And see if you can find what makes an insect an insect.   Squeaks, what’s your favorite kind of insect?    Let us know your favorite too, and we’ll see you back here next time on SciShow Kids.