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Pixies; land-dwelling arthrochaetes
Topic Started: Sep 27 2010, 10:19 AM (488 Views)
StinglessBee
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Name: Pixies
Time: late Carboniferous
Size: 0.3-1.1m long
Diet: smaller species are carnivorous, larger species are either carnivorous or omnivorous
Habitat: varies, with most species being ground-dwelling but with a few species dwelling among rope trees (only around when Pangeia forms)

These are one of several groups of arthrochaete which have become fully terrestrial. Their most noticeable feature is their use of a silk like substance produced from abdominal glands. Meanwhile, the third pair of legs (if we count the pair nearest the head as the first) have shrunk and become more dexterous- being used for manipulating this silk. As a result of this, however, pixies walk on 6 elongated legs instead of the usual 8. Another major difference between pixies and other arthrochaetes is that they are far shorter in length than other arthrochaetes of the similar weight: the shape of the main body being more comparable to a harvestman or pseudo-scorpian than a centipede.

For the most part, the silk is used to protect the eggs of the pixies from water loss and temperature extremes, with the mother protecting the silken sac of eggs in most species (when they hatch, they are usually abandoned to fend for themselves). However, all but the most basal of pixies use silk for other means, with many species using it to help build burrows or to build homes within the strands of rope trees. A few also use it to help ambush prey, laying it out across the ground in order to help pick up the vibrations of prey walking across it.
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The Dodo
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They're kind of like giant spiders, I like them.
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