The World of Insects: Part 1

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Do you know how to tell if something you see crawling or flying is really an insect? One quick way is to count its legs. Insects always have six legs—no more and no less. Spiders are not true insects because they have eight legs.
The word insecta means "in sections," and this is also true. All true insects have three body sections joined together—head, thorax and abdomen. The legs and wings are supported by the middle thorax section. Most insects have four wings, but some have only two, and some don't have any.
When the Lord God created the world and everything in it, He must have had much pleasure in creating the insects since they represent the largest group of visible forms of life. There are over 600,000 species. Some are so small they can only be seen through a microscope. The fairy fly, for instance, is only one-hundredth of an inch long but is perfect in all its parts. At the large end of the scale is the fifteen-inch insect called walking stick, found in New Guinea.
In proportion to their size, insects are the strongest creatures on earth. In experiments, a bumble bee was able to pull more than three hundred times its weight, and a beetle carried more than eight hundred times its weight! When insects walk, their front and back legs on one side and their middle leg on the other side all move at the same time. The Creator may have arranged this so they can keep their balance and are always firmly on the surface.
Most insects begin life as eggs, hatch as larvae or nymphs, then change to pupae, and finally appear as fully formed adults. Having no skeleton or bones, they have been given an armor-like skin for protection. As they grow larger, this splits open and drops off, and a new protective skin soon hardens and replaces it. This happens several times as the insect matures.
Insects breathe, but they have no lungs; they hear, but they have no ears; they smell, but they have no noses; they have eyes, but they cannot close them. Their hearts can pump blood backward or forward. These strange features about insects remind us of the opening verse of this article. The Lord scolded those people who refused to use their eyes to see His ways or to use their ears to hear His word. No wonder He called them "foolish people, and without understanding." We hope none of you will be so foolish! "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Heb. 4:77Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Hebrews 4:7)).
(to be continued)