When we think of small, outdoor creatures that give most people the hibbie-jibbies , two types of animals that often come to mind are insects and snails. While these type of animals seem similar, they are actually quite different. They have things in common but they have more things that set them apart. But the bottom line, no, a snail is not an insect, it is a gastropod.
While both snails and insects may be small and found in similar outdoor environments, they have distinct physical characteristics that set them apart.
Characteristics of Insects
Insects are one of the most diverse groups of animals on our plant. There are over a million species that are considered insects. But what makes an animal an insect? Generally speaking, insects have the following characteristics:
- Three body parts (segments) – the head, thorax, and abdomen)
- Six legs
In addition, some insects, such as ants, bees, and butterflies, also have other parts like as antennae, stingers, or colorful scales on their wings.
Characteristics of Snails
Snails, on the other hand, have a completely different body structure. Their body is soft but a more unique and recognizable feature they have is their hard shells. Instead of 6 legs, they have a single (icky) foot that they use to glide around. Snails also have tentacles but those are different than what insects have.