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ARACHNIDS

A large group of eight-legged arthropods, arachnids include spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites. All scorpions and spiders are meat-eating hunters. Ticks and mites are tiny creatures with sucking or biting mouthparts. Most ticks live as parasites on animals or plants.

TARANTULA

Spiders kill or paralyze their prey by biting it with poisoned fangs. Then they inject digestive juices into it. Tarantulas are active hunters, pouncing on prey rather than catching it in a web. Most tarantulas live in South and Central America.

HOW DO SPIDERS SPIN SILK?

Spiders produce liquid silk from glands inside their abdomens. Structures called spinnerets squeeze out the silk, which the spider then pulls into long threads with its legs. Most spiders use silk to spin webs and catch flying prey. Some spiders hunt without using webs.

HOW DO SCORPIONS KILL THEIR PREY?

Scorpions use their pincers to catch and kill prey. They pounce on insects, spiders, and even mice and lizards, then use their pincers to tear them to pieces. The poisonous sting is only used to kill powerful victims that put up a fight. Scorpions hunt at night and use mainly touch and smell to sense their prey.

ARACHNID CLASSIFICATION

Almost all arachnids live on land. The class Arachnida includes about 17,000 species, divided into 10 orders:

Scorpions
Pseudoscorpions
Spiders
Mites and ticks
Harvestmen (daddy long legs)
Whip scorpions
Microwhip scorpions
Solifugids (sun spiders)
Ricinuleids
Amblypygids

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Arthropods
Invertebrates

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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