Obfuscatory Onychophorium


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Onychophora, which are colloquially known as velvet worms, are a mysterious phylum that is of great interest to scientists. Onychophorans are closely related to arthropods, and they are sometimes called living fossils because they have not changed much since the Cambrian period. For reason, they are important in studying the evolution of arthropods.
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The distribution of onychophorans.
There are two major subgroups within the phylum Onychophora, the Peripatidie and the Peripatopsidae, and they most likely diverged around 160 million years ago. The difference between these two subgroups is that Peripatidie are placental viviparous, and Peripatopsidae are ovovivparous. So far 140 species from both subgroups have been discovered and classified, but there are many more to be found and classified. Both of these subgroups are prone to dessication and for this reason they are found in moist surroundings

So, Onychophora sure is a WEIRD name, isn't it? The roots of its name comes from the Greek words onyx (nail or claw) and phoros (carry or bear), hence their name translates into claw-bearers! The name comes from the fact that Onychophora has a pair of claws on each of its legs.

Onychophorans are carnivorous that catch their prey with an adhesive slime that is released from their antennae. They are viviparous They possess psuedocoeloms and they breath through tracheae

Now that you have a basic understanding of Onychophorans, feel free to enter our exhibit, and prepare to be WEIRDed out by the wonders of nature!