Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 8 months ago

Are insects a more successful species than humans?

12 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    Insects are a whole class of animals.

    So it would be fair to compare with the class humans belong to: Mammalia.

    What do you mean "successful"?

    - The longest time of existence. 

    Insects win: 400 million years, (proto-mammals 300 million).

    - Number of species.

    Insects win 30 million vs 5500

    - Number of individuals.

    Insects win 10.10^18 vs 130 billion

    - Biggest animal ever.

    mammals win: extant blue whale: 30 m vs biggest insect: Carboniferous dragonfly, 70 cm of wingspan

    - Resilience after mass extinctions.

    End-Permian, mammals win

    Lystrosaurus, representing mammals surprisingly survived the huge end Permian extinction and prospered in the early Triassic when End-Permian was the only real insect mass extinction.

    After that insects remained almost unaffected by mass extinctions

    Triassic/Jurassic, insect win

    In fact, mammals lost and dinosaurs ruled the Jurassic and the Cretaceous.Unaffected insects just start to bite dinosaurs instead.

    Cretaceous/Tertiary, mammals win.

    In fact, non-avian dinosaurs became extinct and mammals recovered occupying former dinos niches.

    Nothing changed for insects.

  • 8 months ago

    Which species of insect are you talking about?

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    There are more of them, and they've existed longer... It depends on your definition of "successful" I suppose.

  • Cowboy
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    There are more insect species than all other animal species combined - is that success? Humans have dominated earth's environment and destroyed natural habitats faster than any other living organism - is that success?

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  • 8 months ago

    "Insects" are not "a species", so no.

  • 8 months ago

    You can't compare apples with oranges.  The million known species of Insects are in the class Hexapoda.  Humans are in the class Mammalia.  So for a comparison, you'd have to ask, "Are hexapods more successful than mammals?"

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    Insects are not a single species, but at least hundreds of thousands of species, and perhaps even millions of species. Insects evolved to be among the earliest land animals in the history of the earth, about 400 million years ago, when the ancestor of humans were still living in the water as fish. Scientists often judge the success of animals by figuring out how many species there are and how much of the earth they can inhabit. In terms of species richness, the insects are unequaled by any other group of animals, including the ones that include humans, known as the primates.

    However, humans are able to inhabit more of the earth than insects. Humans can be found on every single continent and we are even capable of living in Antarctica, where insects cannot survive, because we have to ability to warm ourselves using our own body heat and because we have invented heating and cooling using fossil fuels and other means. Therefore we are at least as successful as insects.

  • 8 months ago

    It may hurt our pride, but Yes they are.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    That would depend upon how you define successful.  Go back to troll school and take a few more courses.

  • .
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Perhaps in adapting and surviving.

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