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Natural Perspective

The Animal Kingdom: Joint-Legs (Arthropoda)

(Last modified: 4 May 2015)
[icon: stinkbug][icon: spider][icon: purple crab][icon: sowbug]

Arthropoda, the jointed leg spineless creatures of the world, are among the most maligned of all animals. This rule is not universal, of course. Many people adore Butterflies of the Order Lepidoptera and the ancient Egyptians even worshipped the Scarab Beetle of Order Coleoptera but on the whole, when modern governments spend money on Arthropods it is to find a way of eradicating them.

Never-the-less, the "bugs" of this phylum have served an important role in the history of this planet, whether as carriers of the most devastating plagues in human history or for enabling the parallel evolution of our beautiful flowering plants.

This large group of bugs and crustacians numbers 500,000 strong by today's counts. Scientists believe that up to 10,000,000 Arthropod species are alive today.

Insects (Class Insecta)

[icon: moth] [icon: stinkbug]
The majority of Arthropoda -- 290,000 species -- are insects. This includes the moth and stinkbug, pictured here as well as ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, grashoppers, wasps and a whole lot more.

Arachnids (Class Arachnida)

[icon: spider] Arachnids are eight-legged creatures including spiders, scorpions, and ticks.

Crustacians (Class Crustacea)

[icon: purple crab] [icon: goose barnacle] Crustacians have hard bodies. They include Crabs (such as the Purple Shore-crab), Lobster, Shrimp, and Barnacles (such as the Goose Barnacle)

Class Malacostraca

[icon: sowbug] This class includes the Sowbug or Pillbug.

Millipedes (Class Diplopoda)

[icon: millipede]

Centipedes (Class Chilopoda)

Class Merostomata

home of the Horseshoe crab
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This site produced and maintained by Ari Kornfeld
Copyright © 1996-2015 All rights reserved.

Collaboration and inspiration thanks to Susan Kornfeld
Early PhotoCD scans by Alpha CD Imaging, Menlo Park, CA
Special thanks to Claire Doyle Ragin for scanning some early photos
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