STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Springtail. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a springtail (order Collembola), seen from below. The name "springtail" refers to the specialised jumping appendage (furcula) at the end of the abdomen (lower center). This allows the springtail to leap relatively long distances. Springtails have remained anatomically unchanged for millions of years, and are considered living fossils. They are wingless. The antennae (upper right) are the main sense organs, as their eyes are small and poorly developed. Springtails live mainly in leaf litter, and feed on decaying matter. Magnification: x27 when printed 10 centimetres high.
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