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Characteristics of Arthropods

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Middle School Math and Science

Characteristics of Arthropods

What do a bee,centipede,cockroach,preying mantis, and lobsters all have in common? They are all arthropods.

All arthropods have several traits in common. Let’s take a look at these common traits.

Exoskeleton: Arthropods do not protect their organs with a skeleton made of bones. Instead they have a hard outer covering called an exoskeleton. An exoskeleton is made of chitin and protects the arthropod and allows it to sense, supports the organism, and is even involved in excretion. 
When the arthropod grows it must periodically shed the old exoskeleton and grow a new exoskeleton in a process called molting. 

Bilateral symmetry: All arthropods have bilateral symmetry. This means they look the same on both sides if a line was drawn down the middle. Humans have bilateral symmetry also.

Bodies with Regions: If you take a look at a spider or an insect you will notice that their body is made up of more than one segment. A spider has two segments and a insect has three, a head,thorax, and abdomen.

Segmented appendages: What is an appendage? An appendage is a portion of a an arthropod that stick out and has a function. Examples of appendages include legs,arms,and antennae.

The appendages of arthropods are made of many joints. A joint is the location where two items meet. Humans also have joints where our bones come together.

There are four main classes of arthropods.
They are crustacea, myriapoda, insecta, and arachnida.

Crustacea: These organisms have five or more pairs of legs, two antennae, and no wings. Common examples include crabs, and lobsters.

Myriapoda: Have many pairs of legs, one antennae, and no wings. Common examples are centipedes and millipedes.

Insecta: These arthropods have three body regions,one antennae, and most have wings.
Examples include termites,fleas, and flies.

Arachnids have two body regions,no antennae, no wings, and four pairs of legs. All spiders are arachnids.

Arthropods are found almost everywhere on the land portion of our Earth. They are found under logs, in wood, in our houses, on mountain tops and deep inside caves. Arthropods are very hearty and amazing organisms.

Please take a moment and watch my video on Arthropods and see pictures of these characteristics.
List of Arthropods
There are four main types of arthropds

Crustacea: These arthropds are found in the ocean and freshwater. Several of these animals have sharp, strong claws.

Insecta: These arthropods may be refered to as bugs. Love them or hate them they are very important to many ecosystems.
Dragon Fly
Praying Mantids

Arachnids: These arthropods scare many people and several of these creatures can be very poisionous.


Myriapoda: These animals have a long slender body and many legs.

Millipedes have two legs per segment.
Centipedes have one leg per segment.

arthropod insects