Arthropoda and Related Groups

James H. Thorp

University of Kansas

More than 75% of all described species in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems are in the phylum Arthropoda. No other invertebrate phylum, with the possible exception of the nematodes, approaches their economic and ecological importance. This article briefly reviews all sub-phyla and classes of Arthropoda, with its nearly one million described species, and provides more details about major arthropod taxa not covered in other entries in the Encyclopedia. Aspects of arthropod evolutionary relationships, diversity, anatomy, physiology, and ecology are discussed.

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