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The Arthropod Story Table of Contents   

Arthropod adaptability

Limb specialization is not confined to the crustaceans. We find it throughout the arthropod lineage. Here are some examples:

Grasshoppers have legs adapted for jumping Bees have legs adapted for carrying pollen.
Grasshoppers have legs adapted for jumping. Bees have legs adapted for carrying pollen.
Lice have legs adapted for grasping hair. A centipede's first pair of legs is modified into large poison fangs.
Lice have legs adapted for grasping hair. A centipede's first pair of legs is modified into large poison fangs.
A spider can grasp a delicate web The legs of a water strider are adapted to support its body on the surface of water.
Many spiders have legs well-suited to grasping delicate webs. The legs of a water strider are adapted to support its body on the surface of water.



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Crustaceans: Adapting the arthropod limb layout

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Opportunity knocks


Grasshopper photo provided by Robert Potts © California Academy of Sciences; Bee photo provided by Scott Camazine; Louse image © Vince Smith; Centipede head photo provided by Chao Jui-lung; Spider photo provided by Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences; Water strider photo provided by Giff Beaton

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Arthropods have developed mouthparts that were once legs. Learn more at Extreme adaptations: Eating with your feet.