A beetle is an insect in the order Coleoptera (the largest order in the animal kingdom). This order is characterized by forewings that designed as hardened covers over a second pair of functional wings.
Beetles can be found in nearly all environments except conditions of extreme cold such as Antarctica and at great heights. There are fewer beetle species in temperate zones than in the tropics. Beetle sizes range from less than 0.04 inches (1 mm) long to over 8 inches (20 cm).
Beetles can be helpful or destructive to man. Without dung beetles, some parts of the world would be buried in animal excrement. Beetles help to break down decayed matter. Some beetles are predators of insect pests, such as the Chrysomelid beetles. Some are destructive of crops and timber. Predators of beetles include other insects, bats, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
According to a 2007 naturalistic based study of beetle DNA and fossils, beetles first appeared 300 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs.
Beetles in the Bible
Over half of all described species are insects. Of these, approximately 300,000 are beetles. This led biologist J. B. S. Haldane to remark that God has "an inordinate fondness for beetles."
- Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
There are also 23 references to 'creeping things', 21 in the Old Testament and 2 in the New Testament.