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Insect Anatomy

Carol Stream, Illinois - United States

Insects are part of an animal group known as 'arthropods'. Arthropods are known as such in that they utilize hard protective exterior cases known as an 'exoskeleton'. Arthropods contain a host of well-known multi-legged creatures including arachnids (spiders), millipedes and crustaceans (ocean lobsters and crabs). This exoskeleton makes up the entire surface of the insect's body, put together by separate plates meeting the joints of the body and legs. Arthropods do have muscles within the exoskeleton, but the muscles attach to the exoskeleton itself (as opposed to muscles attaching to ligaments and tendons, which attach themselves to bones in a human body. Movement is accomplished through these moving muscles, which in turn, move the plated exoskeleton parts. Exoskeletons are primarily made of a substance known as 'chitin', which is comparable to our real-world plastic. This substance is made to be "self-moistured" to prevent the surface of the insect from drying out. There a three basic parts to an insect - the head, thorax (the central portion of the body) and abdomen (the ball typically seen on many insects). Explore the website to obtain further information about "Insect Anatomy."

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