Insects are the most abundant and enduring multi-cellular life form ever to have evolved. They are fast breeding, highly evolvable and, thanks to their body-plan, are future-proofed like no other animal. There are 40 tonnes of insects for every human being alive and they account for well over half of all known species. They are an essential component of global food chains and without them as pollinators, predators and recyclers, the world would be a very different place.
As model organisms in research, insects have greatly helped our understanding of genetics, physiology and behaviour. But they have a dark side - they have changed the short course of human history by killing hundreds of millions of people and destroying their crops.
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