Animal Info -> Classification of Animals -> Invertebrates > Arthropods
The most interesting phylum of the animals worlds is the Arthropods. The name is derived form the Greek language meaning "joint-legged." Arthropods lack the backbone and hence they belong to the class invertebrates. These are cold blooded animals whose body temperature changes according to the environment.
Arthropods are the largest phylum in the world. Arthropods invaded the earth over 570 million years ago. Nearly 75% of the animals in the world are the arthropods. Arthropods are found every where in the world. They can be seen in the water, land, air, tree and even underground.
Arthropods are the smallest species in the animal kingdom. Most of the arthropods are less then 1 cm. Certain species are quite long up to 3.2m. The most commonly known arthropods are crab, scorpions, insects, ants, bees, butterflies, etc.
Arthropods are highly diverse group that is characterized by the bilateral body. They have an exoskeleton, segmented body and their legs are joined. The arthropods have to shed their exoskeleton during the molting stage and regain a larger one in order to house their large size.
Arthropods are the largest and the common animals on the earth. Hence they have never been a central type of animal. But they have played a major role in the evolution.
The body of the arthropods is bilaterally symmetrical and is segmented into specialized regions. Each segment consists of a pair of appendages. The appendages are originally designed for locomotion. They have a pair of antenna for sensing, paddles for swimming, stingers etc. To know more about the body structure of the arthropods refer to the page Anatomy of Arthropods.
All the arthropods have a particular characteristic in common. They have a segmented body, many have joint legs, have an exoskeleton, they are cold blooded animals etc. To read more about the characteristic of the arthropods take a visit to the page Characteristics of Arthropods.
Arthropods can be divided into ten or more subclass. In general there are five significant classifications of arthropods. They are Insecta, Arachinda, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, and Malacostraca. To learn more about the classification refer to the page Classification of Arthropods.