Entomology - the study of insects

Entomology is the study of which subject?
And the answer: insects.
Photo credit: public domain. 

Derived from the greek word "entomon," meaning notched, and referring to the segmented body of insects, entomology has existed as a branch of scientific studies since ancient times. In fact, in the 4th century BCE, the Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle provided descriptions of insect anatomy, establishing the foundations for modern entomology.    

Since the inception of the field centuries ago, entomologists have discovered and identified around one million species of insects on Earth. As many as that may seem, however, scientists estimate that there are around 10 quintillion insects on the earth. That’s a 10 with 18 zeros after it. That means that, for every human, there are around 200 million insects.

By the numbers:

Scientists estimate that insects make up to 90% of all species of animals on the planet and more than half of all living things!

Other than categorizing insects, however, entomologists perform a range of duties that positively impact our environment and even advance medical science. For example, insects' need to protect themselves from disease has led to the development of specialized defenses over millions of years, which entomologists study alongside pharmaceutical scientists to develop medicines for humans. Other entomologists will identify harmful pollutants to insects in order to protect and save species from human encroachment. There can even be forensic entomologists, who study the insects on cadavers to help solve crimes!

Learn more about the field of entomology here.


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