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What’s in the animal’s body.

Several things prevent arthropods from becoming massive - the first is their lungs. They don’t scale up. A huge arthropod would be unable to extract enough oxygen from the air to survive.

Second, the exoskeleton. The bigger an arthropod is, the more fragile it is. They’re heavy - there’s a lot of stuff inside that exoskeleton. If you make it too thick, the animal weighs too much to move. Chitin is heavy. If you make it too thin, it just splits open when the animal moves, as it’s not strong enough to contain what’s in the animal’s body.

A Goliath Birdeater tarantula can be killed by a fall of a couple feet. Its exoskeleton will just split right open due to its weight when it hits the ground.

Giant arthropods existed in a time when air oxygen levels were much higher. They got as big as it’s possible for a land arthropod to get. Arthropleura was probably the most impressive — it got truly huge, but it was built to minimize the risk.


You can see this animal is mostly chitin - it’s very, very flat. There’s a lot less tissue inside of it because of its shape. It’s built super low to the ground, with incredible stability - makes it almost impossible to fall.

Anything this size couldn’t survive today - not enough oxygen for it. And anything larger than this could only live in water, where its body is better supported, and it can have more substantial gills.

Content created and supplied by: Jackson46M (via Opera News )

Chitin Goliath Birdeater

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