By: Jonte Rhodes
The common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) is probably the most common spider in the world, and due to its love of hiding in human dwellings, is the most encountered by people as well. Although many millions of people are scared of house spiders, they are...
Arachnids: Camel spiders
By: Jonte Rhodes
The camel spider has achieved a degree of notoriety in recent times due to several pictures of it making their way into the national press. However in actual fact this misunderstood arachnid is not even a spider at all, and in most ways is fairly...
Introduction to the characteristics of the Metazoa
By: M E Skeel
Metazoa are multicelled animals with three layers of cells. Why multicelled animals evolved is succinctly stated by Meglitsch (1972, p 78): "The highly plastic and successful protozoan organisational plan imposed but one serious limitation - that of size. An undivided mass of protoplasm becomes physiologically...
By: Jonte Rhodes
Black widow spiders are one of the most feared and dangerous species in the world, for the simple fact that they have a potent and toxic venom and that they are often found in the same areas that people inhabit. But past the fact that...
Insights into the lives of rotifers
By: M E Skeel
Rotifers are pretty animals, transparent with one or two red eye spots and dancing about on two toes like ballerinas, with a crown of cilia that twirl as they dance. Don't be fooled though, as they are actually fierce little predators, much feared in their...
Information about horsehair worms (Phylum Nematomorpha)
By: M E Skeel
Horsehair worms are generally seen writhing around and tying themselves up in knots in puddles of water after a rain. Occasionally one will find a spider or insect with a big, nasty-looking worm hanging out of it - this too is a horsehair worm. But...
Information about Entoprocts
By: M E Skeel
Entoprocts are small marine or aquatic creatures that superficially resemble little sea anenomes or hydroids, with a crown of tentacles, and a short vase-shaped body with a stalk that holds the animal to its substrate. They are usually found in colonies. Closer examination reveals that...
Information about Gastrotrichs
By: M E Skeel
Gastrotrichs are members of a very small phylum of worm-like animals. They are microscopic in size but relatively common in freshwater environments and sandy beaches. There are about 400 described species worldwide. The freshwater species plus a few marine types belong to the order Chaetonotoidea...
Arachnids: Black widows
By: Carolyn Tytler
GENERAL INFORMATIONThe name black widow spider (latrodectus mactans) includes several varieties of related arachnids found in warm and temperate regions around the world. Like other spiders, they have two body sections: the cephalothorax which bears the head and legs and abdomen where the spinnerets are...
Information about the parasitic Acanthocephala
By: M E Skeel
Acanthocephalans, also known as thorny-headed worms, are parasitic pseudocoelomate worms whose larval stages parasitise arthropods while the adult worms live in vertebrate hosts. The common name comes from the curved hooks that the adult sports around the pharynx and which are used to hold the...

 

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