In a fascinating Ted Ed lesson written by ecologist Anika Hazra and animated by Giulia Martinelli, narrator Pen-Pen Chen explains how to easily identify insects that otherwise look the same. The secret is in their mouths.
There are nearly a million known insect species in the world, but most have one of just five common types of mouthparts. Why is this information useful to scientists? Anika Hazra explains how the features of an insect’s mouthparts can help identify which order it belongs to, while also providing clues about how it evolved and what it feeds on.