Arthropods Facts

Arthropods Facts
An arthropod is an invertebrate with an exoskeleton, which includes a segmented body with jointed limbs. Arthropods must molt (shed their external layer which is the exoskeleton) as their exoskeleton does not grow well. The word arthropod is derived from Greek words meaning 'joint' and 'leg'. The exoskeleton of an arthropod is made up of chitin, which is a glucosamine polymer. It is estimated that there may be as many as 5 million arthropod species in the world, and this accounts for as much as 80% of the known species of animals on the planet. Arthropods are divided into five subphyla including chelicerates, myriapods, crustaceans, hexapods, and trilobites (which are now extinct).
Interesting Arthropods Facts:
The exoskeletons of arthropods are jointed which makes it possible for them to move about nimbly.
Centipedes are a type of arthropod known as a myriapod. Not all centipedes have 100 legs. Millipedes are also arthropods, but despite their name do not have more than 750 legs.
Arthropods can be divided into 13 classes which include crustaceans, insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, sea spiders, pauropods, symphylans, springtails, proturans, two-pronged bristletails, three-pronged bristletails, and king crabs.
The exoskeleton of an arthropod is waterproof which makes it possible to survive in harsh conditions.
After shedding its exoskeleton, an arthropod expands it body to ensure there is enough space before their new exoskeleton begins to harden.
Arthropods try to molt in a safe environment because they are very vulnerable once they shed their exoskeleton.
Arthropods exist in the harshest conditions in the world, from very cold places to some of the hottest in the world. A scorpion, which is an arthropod, can survive even after being frozen solid.
Common arthropods include spiders, insects, mites, ticks, shrimp, lobster, scorpions, crayfish, and barnacles.
Arthropods are classified as invertebrates because they have no backbone.
Depending on the species of arthropod, these creatures can fly, or crawl, or creep and live in the water or on dry land.
Arthropods are often food for other species such as humans or animals. Commonly eaten arthropods include shrimp and lobster as well as crabs.
It is believed that arthropods evolved half a billion years ago.
Trilobites, which are the extinct arthropod species, existed during the Paleozoic Era. Today their fossils are some of the most popular among archaeologists.
It is believed that arthropods likely evolved from an ocean-dwelling creature during the Ediacaran period. It is highly unlikely that this ancestor will ever be identified.
When an arthropod sheds its skeleton this is referred to as ecdysis. This has to happen at least once in an arthropod's lifetime.
After an arthropod sheds its exoskeleton, which only takes a few minutes in most cases, the new exoskeleton begins to form within hours.
Because arthropods are so vulnerable during the molting process it is estimated that approximately 80 to 90% of them are consumed by a predator during this stage.
Most, although not all arthropods lay eggs to complete reproduction. Some species have both the male and female organs necessary to reproduce, such as the barnacle.

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