Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Insect Morphology

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1143-1


Morphology is the branch of biology dedicated to the study of form and composition of body parts. It is the foundation of various fields in biology, such as taxonomy and evolutionary studies. There is a deep connection between form and function, considering that the bauplan of a species has been shaped for millions of years as a result of physical adaptations to different types of environments and tasks to be executed.

Lineages have a unique history, which is reflected by modifications to existing structures. Terrestrial arthropods, for instance, possess a series of adaptations to live in a dry environment. Total disconnection from the ancestral aquatic environment required a set of evolutionary steps, which include developing stronger and more efficient support and locomotor appendages and physiological and structural adaptations to withstand osmotic stress and allow aerial gas exchange.

The extreme diversity of external form found in insects blatantly portrays a group...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museu NacionalUFRJRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia GeralUFFNiteróiBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marieke Cassia Gartner
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoo AtlantaAtlantaUSA