Negro ant tending aphids


The insects are one of the most successful types of living organism, with roughly half of all species on Earth being insects. Insects are part of the Arthropod phylum, and as such have an external skeleton and jointed limbs. All insects have six legs, and are the only type of invertebrate which has evolved the ability to fly.

Scientific name: Insecta

Rank: Class

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Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Insects

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.