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Condylipoda Latreille, 1802

An arthropod (from Greek ἄρθρον arthron, "joint" and πούς pous, "foot") is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Euarthropoda,[1][3] which includes insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. The term Arthropoda as originally proposed refers to a proposed grouping of Euarthropods and the phylum Onychophora. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. Their versatility has enabled them to become the most species-rich members of all ecological guilds in most environments. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living animal species, some of which, unlike most other animals, are very successful in dry environments. Arthropods range in size from the microscopic crustacean Stygotantulus up to the Japanese spider crab. Arthropods' primary internal cavity is a hemocoel, which accommodates their internal organs, and through which their haemolymph – analogue of blood – circulates; they have open circulatory systems. Like their exteriors, the internal organs of arthropods are generally built of repeated segments. Their nervous system is "ladder-like", with paired ventral nerve cords running through all segments and forming paired ganglia in each segment. Their heads are formed by fusion of varying numbers of segments, and their brains are formed by fusion of the ganglia of these segments and encircle the esophagus. The respiratory and excretory systems of arthropods vary, depending as much on their environment as on the subphylum to which they belong. Their vision relies on various combinations of compound eyes and pigment-pit ocelli: in most species the ocelli can only detect the direction from which light is coming, and the compound eyes are the main source of information, but the main eyes of spiders are ocelli that can form images and, in a few cases, can swivel to track prey. Arthropods also have a wide range of chemical and mechanical sensors, mostly based on modifications of the many setae (bristles) that project through their cuticles. Arthropods' methods of reproduction and development are diverse; all terrestrial species use internal fertilization, but this is often by indirect transfer of the sperm via an appendage or the ground, rather than by direct injection. Aquatic species use either internal or external fertilization. Almost all arthropods lay eggs, but scorpions give birth to live young after the eggs have hatched inside the mother. Arthropod
Arthropod
hatchlings vary from miniature adults to grubs and caterpillars that lack jointed limbs and eventually undergo a total metamorphosis to produce the adult form. The level of maternal care for hatchlings varies from nonexistent to the prolonged care provided by scorpions. The evolutionary ancestry of arthropods dates back to the Cambrian period. The group is generally regarded as monophyletic, and many analyses support the placement of arthropods with cycloneuralians (or their constituent clades) in a superphylum Ecdysozoa. Overall, however, the basal relationships of Metazoa are not yet well resolved. Likewise, the relationships between various arthropod groups are still actively debated. Arthropods contribute to the human food supply both directly as food, and more importantly indirectly as pollinators of crops. Some species are known to spread severe disease to humans, livestock, and crops.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Description

2.1 Diversity 2.2 Segmentation 2.3 Exoskeleton 2.4 Moulting 2.5 Internal organs 2.6 Senses

2.6.1 Optical 2.6.2 Olfaction

3 Reproduction and development 4 Evolution

4.1 Last common ancestor 4.2 Fossil record 4.3 Evolutionary family tree

5 Classification 6 Interaction with humans 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References

9.1 Bibliography

10 External links

Etymology[edit] The word arthropod comes from the Greek ἄρθρον árthron, "joint", and πούς pous (gen. podos), i.e. "foot" or "leg", which together mean "jointed leg".[4] Description[edit] Arthropods are invertebrates with segmented bodies and jointed limbs.[5] The exoskeleton or cuticles consists of chitin, a polymer of glucosamine.[6] The cuticle of many crustaceans, beetle mites, and millipedes (except for bristly millipedes) is also biomineralized with calcium carbonate. Calcification of the endosternite, an internal structure used for muscle attachments, also occur in some opiliones.[7] Diversity[edit] Estimates of the number of arthropod species vary between 1,170,000 and 5 to 10 million and account for over 80% of all known living animal species.[8][9] The number of species remains difficult to determine. This is due to the census modeling assumptions projected onto other regions in order to scale up from counts at specific locations applied to the whole world. A study in 1992 estimated that there were 500,000 species of animals and plants in Costa Rica alone, of which 365,000 were arthropods.[10] They are important members of marine, freshwater, land and air ecosystems, and are one of only two major animal groups that have adapted to life in dry environments; the other is amniotes, whose living members are reptiles, birds and mammals.[11] One arthropod sub-group, insects, is the most species-rich member of all ecological guilds in land and freshwater environments.[10] The lightest insects weigh less than 25 micrograms (millionths of a gram),[12] while the heaviest weigh over 70 grams (2.5 oz).[13] Some living crustaceans are much larger; for example, the legs of the Japanese spider crab may span up to 4 metres (13 ft),[12] with the heaviest of all living arthropods being the American lobster, topping out at over 20 kg (44 lbs).

Segmentation[edit]

Head _______________________ Thorax _______________________ Abdomen _______________________

Segments and tagmata of an arthropod[11]

    = Body     = Coxa (base)     = Gill
Gill
branch // = Gill
Gill
filaments     = Leg
Leg
branch

Structure of a biramous appendage[14]

The embryos of all arthropods are segmented, built from a series of repeated modules. The last common ancestor of living arthropods probably consisted of a series of undifferentiated segments, each with a pair of appendages that functioned as limbs. However, all known living and fossil arthropods have grouped segments into tagmata in which segments and their limbs are specialized in various ways;[11] The three-part appearance of many insect bodies and the two-part appearance of spiders is a result of this grouping;[14] in fact there are no external signs of segmentation in mites.[11] Arthropods also have two body elements that are not part of this serially repeated pattern of segments, an acron at the front, ahead of the mouth, and a telson at the rear, behind the anus. The eyes are mounted on the acron.[11] Originally it seems that each appendage-bearing segment had two separate pairs of appendages: an upper and a lower pair. These would later fuse into a single pair of biramous appendages, with the upper branch acting as a gill while the lower branch was used for locomotion.[15] In some segments of all known arthropods the appendages have been modified, for example to form gills, mouth-parts, antennae for collecting information,[14] or claws for grasping;[16] arthropods are "like Swiss Army knives, each equipped with a unique set of specialized tools."[11] In many arthropods, appendages have vanished from some regions of the body; it is particularly common for abdominal appendages to have disappeared or be highly modified.[11]

Trilobitomorpha A L L L L L L Chelicerata x C P L L L L Ci Crustacea A A Mnd Mx Mx L L L L L Tracheata A x Mnd Mx Mx L L L L     = acron     = segments included in head     = body segments x = lost during development     = eyes     = nephridia O = nephridia lost during development A = Antenna L = Leg C = Chelicera P = Pedipalp Ci = Chilarium Mnd = Mandible Mx = Maxilla

The arthropod head problem

The most conspicuous specialization of segments is in the head. The four major groups of arthropods – Chelicerata
Chelicerata
(includes spiders and scorpions), Crustacea
Crustacea
(shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc.), Tracheata (arthropods that breathe via channels into their bodies; includes insects and myriapods), and the extinct trilobites – have heads formed of various combinations of segments, with appendages that are missing or specialized in different ways.[11] In addition, some extinct arthropods, such as Marrella, belong to none of these groups, as their heads are formed by their own particular combinations of segments and specialized appendages.[17] Working out the evolutionary stages by which all these different combinations could have appeared is so difficult that it has long been known as "the arthropod head problem".[18] In 1960, R. E. Snodgrass even hoped it would not be solved, as he found trying to work out solutions to be fun.[Note 1]

Exoskeleton[edit] Main article: Arthropod
Arthropod
exoskeleton

Illustration of an idealized arthropod exoskeleton.

Arthropod
Arthropod
exoskeletons are made of cuticle, a non-cellular material secreted by the epidermis.[11] Their cuticles vary in the details of their structure, but generally consist of three main layers: the epicuticle, a thin outer waxy coat that moisture-proofs the other layers and gives them some protection; the exocuticle, which consists of chitin and chemically hardened proteins; and the endocuticle, which consists of chitin and unhardened proteins. The exocuticle and endocuticle together are known as the procuticle.[20] Each body segment and limb section is encased in hardened cuticle. The joints between body segments and between limb sections are covered by flexible cuticle.[11] The exoskeletons of most aquatic crustaceans are biomineralized with calcium carbonate extracted from the water. Some terrestrial crustaceans have developed means of storing the mineral, since on land they cannot rely on a steady supply of dissolved calcium carbonate.[21] Biomineralization
Biomineralization
generally affects the exocuticle and the outer part of the endocuticle.[20] Two recent hypotheses about the evolution of biomineralization in arthropods and other groups of animals propose that it provides tougher defensive armor,[22] and that it allows animals to grow larger and stronger by providing more rigid skeletons;[23] and in either case a mineral-organic composite exoskeleton is cheaper to build than an all-organic one of comparable strength.[23][24] The cuticle may have setae (bristles) growing from special cells in the epidermis. Setae are as varied in form and function as appendages. For example, they are often used as sensors to detect air or water currents, or contact with objects; aquatic arthropods use feather-like setae to increase the surface area of swimming appendages and to filter food particles out of water; aquatic insects, which are air-breathers, use thick felt-like coats of setae to trap air, extending the time they can spend under water; heavy, rigid setae serve as defensive spines.[11] Although all arthropods use muscles attached to the inside of the exoskeleton to flex their limbs, some still use hydraulic pressure to extend them, a system inherited from their pre-arthropod ancestors;[25] for example, all spiders extend their legs hydraulically and can generate pressures up to eight times their resting level.[26] Moulting[edit] Main article: Ecdysis

Cicada
Cicada
climbing out of its exoskeleton while attached to tree

The exoskeleton cannot stretch and thus restricts growth. Arthropods therefore replace their exoskeletons by moulting, or shedding the old exoskeleton after growing a new one that is not yet hardened. Moulting cycles run nearly continuously until an arthropod reaches full size.[27] In the initial phase of moulting, the animal stops feeding and its epidermis releases moulting fluid, a mixture of enzymes that digests the endocuticle and thus detaches the old cuticle. This phase begins when the epidermis has secreted a new epicuticle to protect it from the enzymes, and the epidermis secretes the new exocuticle while the old cuticle is detaching. When this stage is complete, the animal makes its body swell by taking in a large quantity of water or air, and this makes the old cuticle split along predefined weaknesses where the old exocuticle was thinnest. It commonly takes several minutes for the animal to struggle out of the old cuticle. At this point, the new one is wrinkled and so soft that the animal cannot support itself and finds it very difficult to move, and the new endocuticle has not yet formed. The animal continues to pump itself up to stretch the new cuticle as much as possible, then hardens the new exocuticle and eliminates the excess air or water. By the end of this phase, the new endocuticle has formed. Many arthropods then eat the discarded cuticle to reclaim its materials.[27] Because arthropods are unprotected and nearly immobilized until the new cuticle has hardened, they are in danger both of being trapped in the old cuticle and of being attacked by predators. Moulting
Moulting
may be responsible for 80 to 90% of all arthropod deaths.[27] Internal organs[edit]

    = heart     = gut     = brain / ganglia  0 = eye

Basic arthropod body structure

Arthropod
Arthropod
bodies are also segmented internally, and the nervous, muscular, circulatory, and excretory systems have repeated components.[11] Arthropods come from a lineage of animals that have a coelom, a membrane-lined cavity between the gut and the body wall that accommodates the internal organs. The strong, segmented limbs of arthropods eliminate the need for one of the coelom's main ancestral functions, as a hydrostatic skeleton, which muscles compress in order to change the animal's shape and thus enable it to move. Hence the coelom of the arthropod is reduced to small areas around the reproductive and excretory systems. Its place is largely taken by a hemocoel, a cavity that runs most of the length of the body and through which blood flows.[28] See also: Hemolymph See also: hemocyte Arthropods have open circulatory systems, although most have a few short, open-ended arteries. In chelicerates and crustaceans, the blood carries oxygen to the tissues, while hexapods use a separate system of tracheae. Many crustaceans, but few chelicerates and tracheates, use respiratory pigments to assist oxygen transport. The most common respiratory pigment in arthropods is copper-based hemocyanin; this is used by many crustaceans and a few centipedes. A few crustaceans and insects use iron-based hemoglobin, the respiratory pigment used by vertebrates. As with other invertebrates, the respiratory pigments of those arthropods that have them are generally dissolved in the blood and rarely enclosed in corpuscles as they are in vertebrates.[28] The heart is typically a muscular tube that runs just under the back and for most of the length of the hemocoel. It contracts in ripples that run from rear to front, pushing blood forwards. Sections not being squeezed by the heart muscle are expanded either by elastic ligaments or by small muscles, in either case connecting the heart to the body wall. Along the heart run a series of paired ostia, non-return valves that allow blood to enter the heart but prevent it from leaving before it reaches the front.[28] Arthropods have a wide variety of respiratory systems. Small species often do not have any, since their high ratio of surface area to volume enables simple diffusion through the body surface to supply enough oxygen. Crustacea
Crustacea
usually have gills that are modified appendages. Many arachnids have book lungs.[29] Tracheae, systems of branching tunnels that run from the openings in the body walls, deliver oxygen directly to individual cells in many insects, myriapods and arachnids.[30] Living arthropods have paired main nerve cords running along their bodies below the gut, and in each segment the cords form a pair of ganglia from which sensory and motor nerves run to other parts of the segment. Although the pairs of ganglia in each segment often appear physically fused, they are connected by commissures (relatively large bundles of nerves), which give arthropod nervous systems a characteristic "ladder-like" appearance. The brain is in the head, encircling and mainly above the esophagus. It consists of the fused ganglia of the acron and one or two of the foremost segments that form the head – a total of three pairs of ganglia in most arthropods, but only two in chelicerates, which do not have antennae or the ganglion connected to them. The ganglia of other head segments are often close to the brain and function as part of it. In insects these other head ganglia combine into a pair of subesophageal ganglia, under and behind the esophagus. Spiders take this process a step further, as all the segmental ganglia are incorporated into the subesophageal ganglia, which occupy most of the space in the cephalothorax (front "super-segment").[31] There are two different types of arthropod excretory systems. In aquatic arthropods, the end-product of biochemical reactions that metabolise nitrogen is ammonia, which is so toxic that it needs to be diluted as much as possible with water. The ammonia is then eliminated via any permeable membrane, mainly through the gills.[29] All crustaceans use this system, and its high consumption of water may be responsible for the relative lack of success of crustaceans as land animals.[32] Various groups of terrestrial arthropods have independently developed a different system: the end-product of nitrogen metabolism is uric acid, which can be excreted as dry material; the Malpighian tubule system
Malpighian tubule system
filters the uric acid and other nitrogenous waste out of the blood in the hemocoel, and dumps these materials into the hindgut, from which they are expelled as feces.[32] Most aquatic arthropods and some terrestrial ones also have organs called nephridia ("little kidneys"), which extract other wastes for excretion as urine.[32] Senses[edit] Optical[edit] Main article: Arthropod
Arthropod
eye The stiff cuticles of arthropods would block out information about the outside world, except that they are penetrated by many sensors or connections from sensors to the nervous system. In fact, arthropods have modified their cuticles into elaborate arrays of sensors. Various touch sensors, mostly setae, respond to different levels of force, from strong contact to very weak air currents. Chemical sensors provide equivalents of taste and smell, often by means of setae. Pressure sensors often take the form of membranes that function as eardrums, but are connected directly to nerves rather than to auditory ossicles. The antennae of most hexapods include sensor packages that monitor humidity, moisture and temperature.[33]

Head
Head
of a wasp with three ocelli (centre), and compound eyes at the left and right

Most arthropods have sophisticated visual systems that include one or more usually both of compound eyes and pigment-cup ocelli ("little eyes"). In most cases ocelli are only capable of detecting the direction from which light is coming, using the shadow cast by the walls of the cup. However, the main eyes of spiders are pigment-cup ocelli that are capable of forming images,[33] and those of jumping spiders can rotate to track prey.[34] Compound eyes consist of fifteen to several thousand independent ommatidia, columns that are usually hexagonal in cross section. Each ommatidium is an independent sensor, with its own light-sensitive cells and often with its own lens and cornea.[33] Compound eyes have a wide field of view, and can detect fast movement and, in some cases, the polarization of light.[35] On the other hand, the relatively large size of ommatidia makes the images rather coarse, and compound eyes are shorter-sighted than those of birds and mammals – although this is not a severe disadvantage, as objects and events within 20 centimetres (7.9 in) are most important to most arthropods.[33] Several arthropods have color vision, and that of some insects has been studied in detail; for example, the ommatidia of bees contain receptors for both green and ultra-violet.[33] Most arthropods lack balance and acceleration sensors, and rely on their eyes to tell them which way is up. The self-righting behavior of cockroaches is triggered when pressure sensors on the underside of the feet report no pressure. However, many malacostracan crustaceans have statocysts, which provide the same sort of information as the balance and motion sensors of the vertebrate inner ear.[33] The proprioceptors of arthropods, sensors that report the force exerted by muscles and the degree of bending in the body and joints, are well understood. However, little is known about what other internal sensors arthropods may have.[33] Olfaction[edit] Further information: Insect
Insect
olfaction Reproduction and development[edit]

Compsobuthus werneri female with young (white)

A few arthropods, such as barnacles, are hermaphroditic, that is, each can have the organs of both sexes. However, individuals of most species remain of one sex their entire lives.[36] A few species of insects and crustaceans can reproduce by parthenogenesis, especially if conditions favor a "population explosion". However, most arthropods rely on sexual reproduction, and parthenogenetic species often revert to sexual reproduction when conditions become less favorable.[37] Aquatic arthropods may breed by external fertilization, as for example frogs do, or by internal fertilization, where the ova remain in the female's body and the sperm must somehow be inserted. All known terrestrial arthropods use internal fertilization. Opiliones (harvestmen), millipedes, and some crustaceans use modified appendages such as gonopods or penises to transfer the sperm directly to the female. However, most male terrestrial arthropods produce spermatophores, waterproof packets of sperm, which the females take into their bodies. A few such species rely on females to find spermatophores that have already been deposited on the ground, but in most cases males only deposit spermatophores when complex courtship rituals look likely to be successful.[36]

The nauplius larva of a penaeid shrimp

Most arthropods lay eggs,[36] but scorpions are ovoviparous: they produce live young after the eggs have hatched inside the mother, and are noted for prolonged maternal care.[38] Newly born arthropods have diverse forms, and insects alone cover the range of extremes. Some hatch as apparently miniature adults (direct development), and in some cases, such as silverfish, the hatchlings do not feed and may be helpless until after their first moult. Many insects hatch as grubs or caterpillars, which do not have segmented limbs or hardened cuticles, and metamorphose into adult forms by entering an inactive phase in which the larval tissues are broken down and re-used to build the adult body.[39] Dragonfly
Dragonfly
larvae have the typical cuticles and jointed limbs of arthropods but are flightless water-breathers with extendable jaws.[40] Crustaceans commonly hatch as tiny nauplius larvae that have only three segments and pairs of appendages.[36] Evolution[edit] See also: Phylogeny of insects Last common ancestor[edit] The last common ancestor of all arthropods is reconstructed as a modular organism with each module covered by its own sclerite (armor plate) and bearing a pair of biramous limbs.[41] However, whether the ancestral limb was uniramous or biramous is far from a settled debate. This Ur-arthropod had a ventral mouth, pre-oral antennae and dorsal eyes at the front of the body. It was assumed it was a non-discriminatory sediment feeder, processing whatever sediment came its way for food,[41] but fossil findings hints that the last common ancestor of both arthropods and priapulida shared the same specialized mouth apparatus; a circular mouth with rings of teeth used for capturing prey and was therefore carnivorous.[42] Fossil record[edit]

Marrella, one of the puzzling arthropods from the Burgess Shale

It has been proposed that the Ediacaran
Ediacaran
animals Parvancorina
Parvancorina
and Spriggina, from around 555 million years ago, were arthropods.[43][44][45] Small arthropods with bivalve-like shells have been found in Early Cambrian
Cambrian
fossil beds dating 541 to 539 million years ago in China and Australia.[46][47][48][49] The earliest Cambrian
Cambrian
trilobite fossils are about 530 million years old, but the class was already quite diverse and worldwide, suggesting that they had been around for quite some time.[50] Re-examination in the 1970s of the Burgess Shale
Burgess Shale
fossils from about 505 million years ago identified many arthropods, some of which could not be assigned to any of the well-known groups, and thus intensified the debate about the Cambrian
Cambrian
explosion.[51][52][53] A fossil of Marrella
Marrella
from the Burgess Shale has provided the earliest clear evidence of moulting.[54] The earliest fossil crustaceans date from about 511 million years ago in the Cambrian,[55] and fossil shrimp from about 500 million years ago apparently formed a tight-knit procession across the seabed.[56] Crustacean
Crustacean
fossils are common from the Ordovician
Ordovician
period onwards.[57] They have remained almost entirely aquatic, possibly because they never developed excretory systems that conserve water.[32] Arthropods provide the earliest identifiable fossils of land animals, from about 419 million years ago in the Late Silurian,[29] and terrestrial tracks from about 450 million years ago appear to have been made by arthropods.[58] Arthropods were well pre-adapted to colonize land, because their existing jointed exoskeletons provided protection against desiccation, support against gravity and a means of locomotion that was not dependent on water.[59] Around the same time the aquatic, scorpion-like eurypterids became the largest ever arthropods, some as long as 2.5 metres (8.2 ft).[60] The oldest known arachnid is the trigonotarbid Palaeotarbus jerami, from about 420 million years ago in the Silurian
Silurian
period.[61][Note 2] Attercopus
Attercopus
fimbriunguis, from 386 million years ago in the Devonian
Devonian
period, bears the earliest known silk-producing spigots, but its lack of spinnerets means it was not one of the true spiders,[63] which first appear in the Late Carboniferous
Carboniferous
over 299 million years ago.[64] The Jurassic
Jurassic
and Cretaceous
Cretaceous
periods provide a large number of fossil spiders, including representatives of many modern families.[65] Fossils of aquatic scorpions with gills appear in the Silurian
Silurian
and Devonian
Devonian
periods, and the earliest fossil of an air-breathing scorpion with book lungs dates from the Early Carboniferous
Carboniferous
period.[66] The oldest definitive insect fossil is the Devonian
Devonian
Rhyniognatha hirsti, dated at 396 to 407 million years ago, but its mandibles are of a type found only in winged insects, which suggests that the earliest insects appeared in the Silurian
Silurian
period.[67] The Mazon Creek lagerstätten from the Late Carboniferous, about 300 million years ago, include about 200 species, some gigantic by modern standards, and indicate that insects had occupied their main modern ecological niches as herbivores, detritivores and insectivores. Social termites and ants first appear in the Early Cretaceous, and advanced social bees have been found in Late Cretaceous
Cretaceous
rocks but did not become abundant until the Middle Cenozoic.[68] Evolutionary family tree[edit]

The velvet worm (Onychophora) is closely related to arthropods[69]

From 1952 to 1977, zoologist Sidnie Manton
Sidnie Manton
and others argued that arthropods are polyphyletic, in other words, that they do not share a common ancestor that was itself an arthropod. Instead, they proposed that three separate groups of "arthropods" evolved separately from common worm-like ancestors: the chelicerates, including spiders and scorpions; the crustaceans; and the uniramia, consisting of onychophorans, myriapods and hexapods. These arguments usually bypassed trilobites, as the evolutionary relationships of this class were unclear. Proponents of polyphyly argued the following: that the similarities between these groups are the results of convergent evolution, as natural consequences of having rigid, segmented exoskeletons; that the three groups use different chemical means of hardening the cuticle; that there were significant differences in the construction of their compound eyes; that it is hard to see how such different configurations of segments and appendages in the head could have evolved from the same ancestor; and that crustaceans have biramous limbs with separate gill and leg branches, while the other two groups have uniramous limbs in which the single branch serves as a leg.[70]

onychophorans, including Aysheaia
Aysheaia
and Peripatus

armored lobopods, including Hallucigenia
Hallucigenia
and Microdictyon

anomalocarid-like taxa, including modern tardigrades as well as extinct animals like Kerygmachela
Kerygmachela
and Opabinia

Anomalocaris

arthropods, including living groups and extinct forms such as trilobites

Simplified summary of Budd's "broad-scale" cladogram (1996)[69] Further analysis and discoveries in the 1990s reversed this view, and led to acceptance that arthropods are monophyletic, in other words they do share a common ancestor that was itself an arthropod.[71][72] For example, Graham Budd's analyses of Kerygmachela
Kerygmachela
in 1993 and of Opabinia
Opabinia
in 1996 convinced him that these animals were similar to onychophorans and to various Early Cambrian
Cambrian
"lobopods", and he presented an "evolutionary family tree" that showed these as "aunts" and "cousins" of all arthropods.[69][73] These changes made the scope of the term "arthropod" unclear, and Claus Nielsen proposed that the wider group should be labelled "Panarthropoda" ("all the arthropods") while the animals with jointed limbs and hardened cuticles should be called "Euarthropoda" ("true arthropods").[74] A contrary view was presented in 2003, when Jan Bergström and Xian-Guang Hou argued that, if arthropods were a "sister-group" to any of the anomalocarids, they must have lost and then re-evolved features that were well-developed in the anomalocarids. The earliest known arthropods ate mud in order to extract food particles from it, and possessed variable numbers of segments with unspecialized appendages that functioned as both gills and legs. Anomalocarids were, by the standards of the time, huge and sophisticated predators with specialized mouths and grasping appendages, fixed numbers of segments some of which were specialized, tail fins, and gills that were very different from those of arthropods. This reasoning implies that Parapeytoia, which has legs and a backward-pointing mouth like that of the earliest arthropods, is a more credible closest relative of arthropods than is Anomalocaris.[75] In 2006, they suggested that arthropods were more closely related to lobopods and tardigrades than to anomalocarids.[76] In 2014, research indicated that tardigrades were more closely related to arthropods than velvet worms.[77]

Protostomes

Chaetognatha

Spiralia
Spiralia
(annelids, molluscs, brachiopods, etc.)

Ecdysozoa

Nematoida
Nematoida
(nematodes and close relatives)

Scalidophora
Scalidophora
(priapulids and Kinorhyncha, and Loricifera)

Panarthropoda

Onychophorans

Tactopoda

Tardigrades

Euarthropoda

Chelicerates

Mandibulata

†Euthycarcinoids

Myriapods

Pancrustacea

Crustaceans

Hexapods

Relationships of Ecdysozoa
Ecdysozoa
to each other and to annelids, etc.,[78] including euthycarcinoids[79] Higher up the "family tree", the Annelida
Annelida
have traditionally been considered the closest relatives of the Panarthropoda, since both groups have segmented bodies, and the combination of these groups was labelled Articulata. There had been competing proposals that arthropods were closely related to other groups such as nematodes, priapulids and tardigrades, but these remained minority views because it was difficult to specify in detail the relationships between these groups. In the 1990s, molecular phylogenetic analyses of DNA
DNA
sequences produced a coherent scheme showing arthropods as members of a superphylum labelled Ecdysozoa
Ecdysozoa
("animals that moult"), which contained nematodes, priapulids and tardigrades but excluded annelids. This was backed up by studies of the anatomy and development of these animals, which showed that many of the features that supported the Articulata hypothesis showed significant differences between annelids and the earliest Panarthropods in their details, and some were hardly present at all in arthropods. This hypothesis groups annelids with molluscs and brachiopods in another superphylum, Lophotrochozoa. If the Ecdysozoa
Ecdysozoa
hypothesis is correct, then segmentation of arthropods and annelids either has evolved convergently or has been inherited from a much older ancestor and subsequently lost in several other lineages, such as the non-arthropod members of the Ecdysozoa.[80][78]

Classification[edit] See also: List of arthropod orders Arthropods belong to phylum Euarthropoda.[3][81] The phylum is sometimes called Arthropoda, but strictly this term denotes a (putative - see Tactopoda) clade that also encompasses Phylum Onychophora.[1] Euarthropoda is typically subdivided into five subphyla, of which one is extinct:[82]

Trilobites are a group of formerly numerous marine animals that disappeared in the Permian– Triassic
Triassic
extinction event, though they were in decline prior to this killing blow, having been reduced to one order in the Late Devonian
Devonian
extinction. Chelicerates include horseshoe crabs, spiders, mites, scorpions and related organisms. They are characterised by the presence of chelicerae, appendages just above / in front of the mouth. Chelicerae appear in scorpions and horseshoe crabs as tiny claws that they use in feeding, but those of spiders have developed as fangs that inject venom. Myriapods comprise millipedes, centipedes, and their relatives and have many body segments, each segment bearing one or two pairs of legs (or in a few cases being legless). They are sometimes grouped with the hexapods. Crustaceans are primarily aquatic (a notable exception being woodlice) and are characterised by having biramous appendages. They include lobsters, crabs, barnacles, crayfish, shrimp and many others. Hexapods comprise insects and three small orders of insect-like animals with six thoracic legs. They are sometimes grouped with the myriapods, in a group called Uniramia, though genetic evidence tends to support a closer relationship between hexapods and crustaceans.

Aside from these major groups, there are also a number of fossil forms, mostly from the Early Cambrian, which are difficult to place, either from lack of obvious affinity to any of the main groups or from clear affinity to several of them. Marrella
Marrella
was the first one to be recognized as significantly different from the well-known groups.[17] The phylogeny of the major extant arthropod groups has been an area of considerable interest and dispute.[83] Recent studies strongly suggest that Crustacea, as traditionally defined, is paraphyletic, with Hexapoda
Hexapoda
having evolved from within it,[84][85] so that Crustacea
Crustacea
and Hexapoda
Hexapoda
form a clade, Pancrustacea. The position of Myriapoda, Chelicerata
Chelicerata
and Pancrustacea remains unclear as of April 2012[update]. In some studies, Myriapoda
Myriapoda
is grouped with Chelicerata
Chelicerata
(forming Myriochelata);[86][87] in other studies, Myriapoda
Myriapoda
is grouped with Pancrustacea (forming Mandibulata),[84] or Myriapoda
Myriapoda
may be sister to Chelicerata
Chelicerata
plus Pancrustacea.[85]

Panarthropoda

Onychophora

Tactopoda

Tardigrada

Euarthropoda

Chelicerata

Mandibulata

Myriapoda

Pancrustacea

 Ostracoda, Branchiura, Pentastomida, Mystacocarida 

 Copepoda, Malacostraca, Thecostraca 

 Branchiopoda, Cephalocarida 

 Hexapoda, Remipedia

traditional Crustacea

Phylogenetic relationships of the major extant arthropod groups according to Regier et al. (2010);[84] traditional subphyla in bold

The placement of the extinct trilobites is also a frequent subject of dispute.[88] One of the newer hypotheses is that the chelicerae have originated from the same pair of appendages that evolved into antennae in the ancestors of Mandibulata, which would place trilobites, which had antennae, closer to Mandibulata
Mandibulata
than Chelicerata.[89] Since the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature recognises no priority above the rank of family, many of the higher-level groups can be referred to by a variety of different names.[90] Interaction with humans[edit]

Insects and scorpions on sale in a food stall in Bangkok

See also: Entomophagy
Entomophagy
and Pollinator decline Crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, and prawns have long been part of human cuisine, and are now raised commercially.[91] Insects and their grubs are at least as nutritious as meat, and are eaten both raw and cooked in many cultures, though not most European, Hindu, and Islamic cultures.[92][93] Cooked tarantulas are considered a delicacy in Cambodia,[94][95][96] and by the Piaroa
Piaroa
Indians of southern Venezuela, after the highly irritant hairs – the spider's main defense system – are removed.[97] Humans also unintentionally eat arthropods in other foods,[98] and food safety regulations lay down acceptable contamination levels for different kinds of food material.[Note 3][Note 4] The intentional cultivation of arthropods and other small animals for human food, referred to as minilivestock, is now emerging in animal husbandry as an ecologically sound concept.[102] Commercial butterfly breeding provides Lepidoptera stock to butterfly conservatories, educational exhibits, schools, research facilities, and cultural events. However, the greatest contribution of arthropods to human food supply is by pollination: a 2008 study examined the 100 crops that FAO lists as grown for food, and estimated pollination's economic value as €153 billion, or 9.5% of the value of world agricultural production used for human food in 2005.[103] Besides pollinating, bees produce honey, which is the basis of a rapidly growing industry and international trade.[104] The red dye cochineal, produced from a Central American species of insect, was economically important to the Aztecs and Mayans.[105] While the region was under Spanish control, it became Mexico's second most-lucrative export,[106] and is now regaining some of the ground it lost to synthetic competitors.[107] The blood of horseshoe crabs contains a clotting agent, Limulus Amebocyte Lysate, which is now used to test that antibiotics and kidney machines are free of dangerous bacteria, and to detect spinal meningitis and some cancers.[108] Forensic entomology
Forensic entomology
uses evidence provided by arthropods to establish the time and sometimes the place of death of a human, and in some cases the cause.[109] Recently insects have also gained attention as potential sources of drugs and other medicinal substances.[110] The relative simplicity of the arthropods' body plan, allowing them to move on a variety of surfaces both on land and in water, have made them useful as models for robotics. The redundancy provided by segments allows arthropods and biomimetic robots to move normally even with damaged or lost appendages.[111][112]

Diseases transmitted by insects

Disease[113] Insect Cases per year Deaths per year

Malaria Anopheles
Anopheles
mosquito 267 M 1 to 2 M

Yellow fever Aedes
Aedes
mosquito 4,432 1,177

Filariasis Culex
Culex
mosquito 250 M unknown

Although arthropods are the most numerous phylum on Earth, and thousands of arthropod species are venomous, they inflict relatively few serious bites and stings on humans. Far more serious are the effects on humans of diseases carried by blood-sucking insects. Other blood-sucking insects infect livestock with diseases that kill many animals and greatly reduce the usefulness of others.[113] Ticks can cause tick paralysis and several parasite-borne diseases in humans.[114] A few of the closely related mites also infest humans, causing intense itching,[115] and others cause allergic diseases, including hay fever, asthma, and eczema.[116] Many species of arthropods, principally insects but also mites, are agricultural and forest pests.[117][118] The mite Varroa destructor has become the largest single problem faced by beekeepers worldwide.[119] Efforts to control arthropod pests by large-scale use of pesticides have caused long-term effects on human health and on biodiversity.[120] Increasing arthropod resistance to pesticides has led to the development of integrated pest management using a wide range of measures including biological control.[117] Predatory mites may be useful in controlling some mite pests.[121][122]

See also[edit]

Arthropods portal

Invertebrate
Invertebrate
paleontology

Notes[edit]

^ "It would be too bad if the question of head segmentation ever should be finally settled; it has been for so long such fertile ground for theorizing that arthropodists would miss it as a field for mental exercise."[19] ^ The fossil was originally named Eotarbus but was renamed when it was realized that a Carboniferous
Carboniferous
arachnid had already been named Eotarbus.[62] ^ For a mention of insect contamination in an international food quality standard, see sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of Codex 152 of 1985 of the Codex Alimentarius[99] ^ For examples of quantified acceptable insect contamination levels in food see the last entry (on "Wheat Flour") and the definition of "Extraneous material" in Codex Alimentarius,[100] and the standards published by the FDA.[101]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

Gould, S. J. (1990), Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale
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External links[edit]

The Wikibook Dichotomous Key has a page on the topic of: Arthropoda

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arthropoda.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Arthropoda.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Arthropoda

Arthropod
Arthropod
at the Encyclopedia of Life
Encyclopedia of Life
Venomous Arthropods chapter in United States Environmental Protection Agency and University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences National Public Health Pesticide
Pesticide
Applicator Training Manual Arthropods – Arthropoda Insect
Insect
Life Forms

v t e

Extant Animal
Animal
phyla

Domain Archaea Bacteria Eukaryota (Supergroup Plant Hacrobia Heterokont Alveolata Rhizaria Excavata Amoebozoa Opisthokonta

Animal Fungi)

A n i m a l i a

Porifera (sponges)

Diploblasts (Eumetazoa)

Ctenophora
Ctenophora
(comb jellies)

ParaHoxozoa

Placozoa
Placozoa
(Trichoplax)

Planulozoa

Cnidaria
Cnidaria
(jellyfish and relatives)

Bilateria (Triploblasts)

(see below↓)

Bilateria

Xenacoelomorpha

Xenoturbellida (Xenoturbella) Acoelomorpha

acoels nemertodermatids

N e p h r o z o a

Deuterostomia

Chordata

lancelets tunicates craniates / vertebrates

Ambulacraria

Echinodermata (starfish and relatives) Hemichordata

acorn worms pterobranchs

P r o t o s t o m i a

Ecdysozoa

Scalidophora

Kinorhyncha
Kinorhyncha
(mud dragons) Priapulida
Priapulida
(penis worms)

N+L+P

Nematoida

Nematoda (roundworms) Nematomorpha
Nematomorpha
(horsehair worms)

L+P

Loricifera

Panarthropoda

Arthropoda (arthropods) Tardigrada
Tardigrada
(waterbears) Onychophora
Onychophora
(velvet worms)

S p i r a l i a

Gnathifera¹

Chaetognatha
Chaetognatha
(arrow worms) Gnathostomulida (jaw worms) Micrognathozoa (Limnognathia) Syndermata

Rotifera Acanthocephala

Platytrochozoa

R+M

Mesozoa

Orthonectida Dicyemida
Dicyemida
or Rhombozoa

Rouphozoa¹

Platyhelminthes (flatworms) Gastrotricha (hairybacks)

Lophotrochozoa

Cycliophora (Symbion) Mollusca
Mollusca
(molluscs)

A+N

Annelida
Annelida
(ringed worms) Nemertea
Nemertea
(ribbon worms)

Lophophorata

Bryozoa

Entoprocta
Entoprocta
or Kamptozoa Ectoprocta (moss animals)

Brachiozoa

Brachiopoda (lamp shells) Phoronida (horseshoe worms)

Major groups within phyla

Sponges

Calcareous Hexactinellid Demosponge Homoscleromorpha

Cnidarians

Anthozoa
Anthozoa
inc. corals Medusozoa
Medusozoa
inc. jellyfish Myxozoa

Vertebrates

Jawless fish Cartilaginous fish Bony fish Amphibians Reptiles/Birds Mammals

Echinoderms

Sea lilies Asterozoa
Asterozoa
inc. starfish Echinozoa

Nematodes

Chromadorea Enoplea Secernentea

Arthropods

Chelicerates/Arachnids Myriapods Crustaceans Hexapods/Insects

Platyhelminths

Turbellaria Trematoda Monogenea Cestoda

Bryozoans

Phylactolaemata Stenolaemata Gymnolaemata

Annelids

Polychaetes Clitellata Echiura

Molluscs

Gastropods Cephalopods Bivalves Chitons Tusk shells

Phyla with ≥5000 extant species bolded See also Diploblasts Monoblastozoa (nomen dubium)

¹Platyzoa

v t e

Extant Arthropoda classes by subphylum

Kingdom Animalia Subkingdom Eumetazoa (unranked) Bilateria (unranked) Protostomia Superphylum
Superphylum
Ecdysozoa

Chelicerata

Pycnogonida
Pycnogonida
(sea spiders)

Euchelicerata

Merostomata
Merostomata
(horseshoe crabs)¹ Arachnida
Arachnida
(spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites)

Mandibulata

Myriapoda

Chilopoda
Chilopoda
(centipedes) Diplopoda
Diplopoda
(millipedes) Pauropoda
Pauropoda
(pauropods) Symphyla
Symphyla
(symphylans or garden centipedes)

Pancrustacea ( Crustacea
Crustacea
+ + Hexapoda)

Oligostraca

Ostracoda
Ostracoda
(seed shrimps) Mystacocarida²

Ichthyostraca²

Pentastomida
Pentastomida
(tongue worms) Branchiura
Branchiura
(fish lice)

Altocrustacea

Multicrustacea

Malacostraca
Malacostraca
(woodlice, shrimps, crayfish, lobsters, crabs)

Copepoda (copepods) Thecostraca
Thecostraca
(barnacles and relatives) + Tantulocarida

Allotriocarida

Cephalocarida (horseshoe shrimps) Branchiopoda
Branchiopoda
(fairy, tadpole, clam shrimps, water fleas)

Miracrustacea s.s./ Labiocarida

Remipedia

Hexapoda

Protura
Protura
(coneheads)³ Collembola
Collembola
(springtails)³ Diplura
Diplura
(two-pronged bristletails)³ Insecta
Insecta
(insects)

¹contains the only extant order Xiphosura ²Maxillopoda ³Entognatha italic are paraphyletic groups Sources: Edgecombe et al. (2014), Petrunina (2012) for pancrustaceans.

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q1360 ADW: Arthropoda BugGuide: 3 EoL: 164 EPPO: 1ARTHP Fauna Europaea: 2 Fossilworks: 18891 ITIS: 82696 NCBI: 6656 WoRMS: 1065

Authority control

GND: 40212

.