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f01u4p2 - Unit Four Insects Unit IV Insects A major portion...

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Unit Four Insects Project Oceanography Fall 2001 55 Unit IV Insects A major portion of the information for this unit was obtained from “The guide to the Common Aquatic Invertebrates of the Loxahatchee Basin” by Carlos L. de la Rosa, Ph.D. and Carlos A. de la Rosa On the cutting edge… Scientists at Brooker Creek Preserve are on the cutting edge of science using biological indicators to survey the health of the ecosystem and its watershed area. In addition to using the latest electronic sensors to measure water quality, scientists can verify their results by studying the health of biological indicators. In this case, by looking at aquatic insects in the various preserve habitats, researchers can tell if the food webs are still intact. Aquatic Insects Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to do the following: Categorize aquatic insects with regard to their habitat Describe the functional trophic groups of aquatic organisms Distinguish between complete and incomplete metamorphosis Key concepts: insect, macrohabitat, microhabitat, functional trophic group, complete metamorphosis, incomplete metamorphosis Insects and their Habitats Insects are one of the largest groups of organisms on earth. Only about one million species have been identified of the one billion estimated to exist. Their three distinct body regions, six legs, and sometimes wings identify insects. The three body regions include: the head, the thorax , and abdomen . The head contains the mouthparts and most of the sensory organs. The thorax provides the attachment area for the three sets of legs and if present the wings. The abdomen mainly functions in digestion, respiration, and reproduction. Insects also have a tough exoskeleton that protects them from natural enemies and extreme changes in environmental conditions. Insects have interesting internal adaptations designed to suit their lifestyles. For instance, insects have open circulatory systems that allow the blood to move around inside the body cavity without being enclosed in blood vessels. This helps to more efficiently distribute oxygen and nutrients to all body parts. Insects breathe using openings on the body
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Unit Four Insects Project Oceanography Fall 2001 56 called spiracles . Air enters the body through these holes and is distributed throughout the insect’s body. Insects that eat have digestive systems that are long tubes divided into parts for different functions. The insect nervous system transports information from the sense organs such as the antennae and eyes to the brain for processing. Other information is processed at nerve centers throughout the body. Insects can also be categorized and classified in other ways. Scientists classify organisms by studying similarities and differences in their appearance (including shape, size, color, etc.) They also study behaviors, life cycles , and other characteristics. For instance, insects can be divided into two large groups: those found in aquatic environments and those found in terrestrial environments. These large
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