Like many other animals, insects can live in almost any place on earth. They are found in deserts, freshwater streams, tropical rainforests, up snowy mountains, and in your own backyard!
Most animals have a backbone, but insects do not. They instead have an external skeleton called an exoskeleton which is on the outside of their body.
They have three main parts of their bodies: a head, thorax, and abdomen.
The head is at the top and has mouthparts, eyes, and antennae. The thorax is a middle section and has wings, joints (just like your knees), and special muscles that allow them to fly.
Insects communicate with other insects, other animals, or even their own bodies through a variety of ways. Some insect communication is based on sound, while others use vibrational signals from their legs and wings.
In order to survive, insects need to find the right food. They may eat plants or small creatures. They also can produce useful substances like honey, wax, and lacquer that are used by humans for many purposes.
Most insects can survive cold weather by changing their behavior. Some migrate into warmer areas in the spring, and some overwinter as larvae. They eat more food, reduce their water content, and build up glycerol, which acts as an antifreeze.
Most insects do not have lungs, but they are able to breathe through air tubes and sacs in their abdomen and thorax. Their trachea is a type of tube that takes oxygen in and sends it to the cells where they need it.