We explain what arthropods are, what their diet is like and their classification. In addition, its general characteristics, reproduction and more.
It is estimated that there are more than 1,200,000 species of arthropods in the world , classified according to four large groups: arachnids, crustaceans , insects and myriapods . This represents 80% of the known animal species . Of all the classes of arthropods, insects are the most numerous.
From its relationship with annelids (earthworms and worms), it is speculated that arthropods could evolve from that other phylum. Evidence of this is the similarity between the body of annelids and the abdomen of insects and crustaceans, or the larval stage (caterpillars and larvae) of certain insects. This edge would have appeared about 570 million years ago.
As has been said, arthropods can be classified into four large groups:
Those provided with lungs have them in a folding structure (book lungs) , which appear into the air through independent openings. Those with tracheas, on the other hand, which are the majority, breathe through a series of tubes that communicate to the outside.
Arthropods reproduce sexually and oviparously . The female, upon being fertilized, lays eggs from which the offspring will emerge, whose development may be direct or indirect, namely:
Unlike many vertebrates , many arthropods can see certain spectra of near ultraviolet light , as well as having very rich color differentiation. Some species of crustaceans have thirteen different pigments for the observation of each color, while primates (and humans ), we only have three.
This is one of the main characteristics of arthropods: their legs and body are made up of different segments joined through joints, which allows them a precise, fast and diverse movement.
This, in addition, has allowed the evolutionary creation of different forms of appendix , such as chelicerae, antennae, pincers or chelicerae, etc.
The body of arthropods is protected from the elements and from its rivals or predators by a chitin skeleton, which is not found inside the body like ours (endoskeleton), but outside (exoskeleton).
This is an impediment to the growth of the animal , however, so the skeleton must be changed in several stages throughout its life , allowing the development of a new one, adapted to the new dimensions of the animal. This process is known as ecdysis or molt .
The basic sensory units of arthropods are called sensilias , located throughout the body of these animals, being able to capture external and internal stimuli at the same time. This gives them a very high capacity for perception of their environment, partly responsible for their evolutionary success.
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