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© 2003 Gary Andrashko, Illinois State Museum
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum
© 2005 The Virtual Fossil Museum
What are Insects? Insects generally have a body divided into three segments: head, thorax, and abdomen. They belong to the group Hexapoda, meaning “six-footed,” because they have six legs on the thorax. Also included here are three groups of wingless hexapods, Collembola, Protrura, and Diplura, because they are close relatives of insects, and their relationships are still being studied. Some paleontologists consider Collembola (springtails), whose fossils have been found in Devonian rocks, to be the oldest known insects. Members of the other groups first appear in the Carboniferous.
First known fossil occurrence: Devonian.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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