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You are watching: Which is the largest group of arthropods?


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Insects and also spiders space fascinating, from fragile butterflies come dancing honeybees and also fuzzy tarantulas. Yet how lot do you yes, really know around their behavior and origins?

The phylum Arthropoda is frequently divided into 4 subphyla that extant forms: Chelicerata (arachnids), Crustacea (crustaceans), Hexapoda (insects and springtails), and Myriapoda (millipedes and centipedes). Some zoologists believe that arthropods possessing just single-branched appendages, an especially the insects, centipedes, and also millipedes, developed from a separate ancestor and therefore team them in ~ a different phylum—the Uniramia, or Atelocerata; however, in this therapy these creates are dispersed amongst several subphyla. In addition, the phylum Arthropoda has the extinction subphylum Trilobitomorpha. This group is consisted of of the trilobites, the dominant arthropods in the early on Paleozoic seas (541.0 million come 251.9 million year ago). Trilobites ended up being extinct during the Permian period (298.9 million come 251.9 million years ago) in ~ the finish of the Paleozoic Era.

The myriapods (centipedes, symphylans, millipedes, and also pauropods) live beneath stones and logs and also in leaf mold; insects are discovered in all varieties of terrestrial habitats and some have invaded fresh water. The sea has actually remained the domain the the crustaceans, however, and also only in ~ its really edges are insects (subphylum Hexapoda) found.


millipede
A southern African millipede.

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The subphylum Crustacea contains mostly maritime arthropods, though many of that is members, such together the crayfish, have actually invaded new water, and one group, the pill bugs (sow bugs), has come to be terrestrial, living beneath stones and logs and in sheet mold. In the sea, huge crustaceans such as crabs and also shrimps are typical bottom-dwelling arthropods. Countless minute species of crustaceans (particularly the copepods) are crucial component that the zooplankton (floating or weakly swimming animals) and serve together food for other invertebrates, fishes, and even whales.