So far, we have discovered about 1.2 million different species in the Phylum Arthropoda!
Let’s check out the diversity of arthropods:
This extinct subphylum flourished from around 540 million years ago to 280 million years ago.
They all mash up their food with dagger-like chelicerae which are literally “claw horns.”
Of the more than 1,000 species of scorpions worldwide, only 30 carry a toxin that may be fatal in humans.
These spiders are harmless to humans (except for a painful bite), and their mild venom is weaker than a typical bee's.
The medical profession uses an extract from the horseshoe crab's blue, copper-based blood called lysate to test the purity of medicines. Certain properties of the shell have also been used to speed blood clotting and to make absorbable sutures.
Here’s a video that talks about the role of horseshoe crabs in the biomedical industry:
Pollicepes polymerus- These are found in the high intertidal zone on the California Coast. They filter small particles in the water for food.
Try to find the crab! It's a decorator crab which attaches anemones and coral polyps for camouflage.
Here’s a high-speed motion camera capture of a mantis shrimp strike. It begins at 2:14.
And these amazing crabs found in the Caribbean:
Lithobius forficatus , most commonly known as the brown centipede. This group has lost the compound eyes, and sometimes has no eyes altogether.
A Centipede vs. a Grasshopper Mouse:
Narceus americanus is a large North American millipede. When threatened, they sometimes curl up or release a noxious liquid that contains large amounts of benzoquinones which can cause dermatological burns. This fluid may irritate eyes or skin.
Beetles are in the order Coleoptera. About 40% of all described insect species are beetles (about 400,000 species), and new species are discovered frequently
Here’s an interesting TED talk about something that is kind of squeamish for Westerners…eating insects: