Peripatus

Peripatus

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Macroperipatus acacioi, a peripatus or velvet worm which inhabits humid areas of the tropics and the southern hemisphere. This small species is from Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Peripatuses are soft bodied and possess segmental nephridia like annelids but, like arthropods, they possess trachaeae, chitin in the integument and their jaws are modified limbs. Their stumpy limbs (lobopods) are unique in that their muscles work against a hydrostatic skeleton. The females are larger than the males and give birth to live young. Their diet consists of crickets, spiders, cockroaches, and assorted microfauna.

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Keywords: animal, invertebrate, invertebrates, macroperipatus acacioi, nature, onychophora, onychophoran, peripatus, velvet worm, wildlife, zoology

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