Are Insects Animals?

Yes, Insects are technically speaking “Animals”. To understand in-depth as to whether insects are animals, we need to critically look into the definitions of the terms and the criteria an organism has to meet to fall into a certain definition. So without further ado, lets get right into it

A video elaborating on “Insects are Animals”


Let’s elaborate on this, an animals is basically an organism that belongs to the kingdom “Animalia”. And insects reflect the characteristics of the animal kingdom the most. Some of the characteristics that makes an organism fall under the kingdom of Animalia are

  • They are multicellular organisms which do not possess chlorophyll.
  • They are eukaryotic organisms.
  • Cell wall is absent.
  • Mode of nutrition is heterotrophic i.e. they depend on other organisms for food.
  • They have muscle cells due to which they have the capability to contract and relax the body parts.
  • Reproduction is sexual. However, asexual reproduction is also found in lower forms.
  • During development, multicellular embryo is formed from the zygote.
  • They require oxygen for aerobic respiration.

And these are usually some common characteristics in insects. To get a better gist of what constitutes the characteristics of the other kingdomes here is a look

Kingdom Monera: Unicellular and colonial–including the true bacteria (eubacteria) and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)

Kingdom Protista: Unicellular protozoans and unicellular & multicellular (macroscopic) algae with 9 + 2 cilia and flagella (called undulipodia).

Kingdom Fungi: Haploid and dikaryotic (binucleate) cells, multicellular, generally heterotrophic, without cilia and eukaryotic (9 + 2) flagella (undulipodia).

Kingdom Plantae:  Haplo-diploid life cycles, mostly autotrophic, retaining embryo within female sex organ on parent plant.

So it is very easy to conclude that insects fall under the “Animalia Kingdom” and hence are animals without a doubt in the conventional meaning of words. But don’t worry this overly generalized word is further subdivided into phylums and classes to further specify the different types of organisms

A picture of pyramid of creatures to better answer "Are Insects Animals?"

So technically insects are a class of the phylum known as Anthropod which lies under the kingdom of “Animalia”. As animalia is a very big kingdom which includes within itself over a million type of organisms. It is very efficieint to subdevide it along with other kingdoms further down.

The simple definition of insecects under the phylum of Antrhopods is that it comes with jointed pair of 3 legs, an exoskeleton has a head, thorax and an abdoman, along with a usual antennae in the head. Moreover, it also usually comes with 2 pairs of wings.

Animals That Don’t Fall Under The Class “Insects”

  • Harvestmen
  • Thelyphonida
  • Attercopus
  • Tics and Mites.
  • Spiders.
  • Centipedes.
  • Springtails.
  • Harvestmen.
  • Scorpions.
  • Windscorpions.
  • Mites

Fun Fact

Insects also have the largest biomass of all the animals living on earth. As of now, an estimated of over 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) living insects are roaming around in the world

Do Insects Feel Pain?

Yes, insects do feel pain, this has been proved by quite a few studies that have been done in this very field. Moreover, a recent study has found that insects not only feel pain but also are prone to chronic pain which refers to pain after an injury has been healed. Down below are the words of Associate Professor Neely from Sydney

“People don’t really think of insects as feeling any kind of pain, But it’s already been shown in lots of different invertebrate animals that they can sense and avoid dangerous stimuli that we perceive as painful. In non-humans, we call this sense ‘nociception’, the sense that detects potentially harmful stimuli like heat, cold, or physical injury, but for simplicity, we can refer to what insects experience as ‘pain’. So we knew that insects could sense ‘pain’, but what we didn’t know is that an injury could lead to long-lasting hypersensitivity to normally non-painful stimuli in a similar way to human patients’ experiences.”. If you want to know more on this topic scientificamerican has a great article writton this very topic. So do give it a look too if you are interested “I’ll Bee There for You: Do Insects Feel Emotions?

Do Insects Sleep?

Yes, insects do sleep and they also have a nervous system which is one of the most important characteristics that an organism needs to have when it comes to sleeping so it has that covered on its side. But apart from sleeping, it is usually found that they have some kind of sleeping patterns that they love to adhere to. Another question that arises along with sleeping is that Do Insects Dream? well, let’s answer that now

Do Insects Dream?

No, insects do not dream as this is a state that a mammal or bird gets into during REM sleep. And though insects are observed to have been in the state o est and sleep the studies that we have conducted uptil now doesn’t advocate that they experience REM sleep which is a state in which an organism experience dreams

Do Insects Feel Emotions?

Yes, though there has been no conclusive answer to this question as of now but there are quite a few recent studies that show that insects do experience emotions. A recent study that was conducted in the institute of neuroscience at Newcastle University showed that insects showed different behaviors while perceiving their surroundings, which is considered to be an emotional reaction. The study basically took a colony of honeybees and placed it on the vortexing machine and stimulated a badger attack whilst the machine shook violently. This led to the bees becoming irritated and the researchers were able to observe the difference in their behavior. It was observed that bees were reacting the same as other animals and even humans would if put in a situation like this

Basic Food Of Insects

There is over 900 thousand different kinds of insects living on earth as of now and there is a very huge variety of things that many different kinds of insects eat and drink. Some of the most common things that insects eat are

  • Other Insects
  • Some plants
  • Other Anthropods
  • Dead Meat
  • Drink water and blood
  • fungus
  • wood
  • Salts
  • Seeds
  • Nectar

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering a few of your insects’ related questions. lastly if you want to through an article answering “What insects pollinate followers”, we have a great article written on that too. So do give it a look if you are interested “What Insects Pollinate Flowers?

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