Arthropods | Arthropoda
Arthropods are small invertebrates characterized by an external skeleton, a body having segments each with paired jointed appendages. They are classified under phylum Arthropoda with their bodies being bilaterally symmetrical and also containing cuticles. Most Arthropods use a compound eye as their primary source of information. Additionally, they are a good source of food and also play an essential role in the environment as pollinators, scavengers, and recyclers of nutrients. They are adaptable and are the only animals that are successfully dominating the land, water, and aerial habitats. Unlike other animals that increase continuously on their own, Arthropods have to go through a process called molting when growing.
The largest group of arthropods are insects, and they can be distinguished from other arthropods through specific characteristics. These characteristics include them having 3 body regions, 3 pairs of legs, as well as a pair of antennae. Most insects also have the ability to fly, which other arthropods lack.
The arthropods grow through the process of forming new segments near their tail. The growth of an arthropod is very similar to the growth of annelids. Arthropods like mollusks have a tough exoskeleton, but this exoskeleton does not grow along with the rest of the animal and they have to shed their exoskeleton periodically.
Arthropods are considered because they carry out a different number of roles and tasks. Arthropods can help with pest control or weed control, they also carry an important ecological role due to their large number of species and diversity. Arthropods also serve as food for other species within the food chain.