Arachnids are an ancient group of predatory animals that include spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks, harvestmen and other interesting creatures like solifugids. Arachnids differ from insects because they have have only two body segments, have eight legs, no wings or antennae, and are unable to chew.
29 imagesSpiders are the most common type of arachnid found around the world, with roughly 3400 species found in North America alone with a fossil record that dates back a staggering 400 million years! All true spiders produce silk, and most species have venom that both kills and liquifies their prey.
6 imagesScorpions are a fascinating group of arachnids that are very easy to identify: two claws in the front and a venomous stinger held up from behind and above its body. Modern day scorpions have evolved from massive eight-foot marine ancestors, and have a fossil record that stretches back 430 million years. They are now found all over the world except Antarctica.
1 imageAlso called camel spiders, wind scorpions, or sun spiders - these secretive and seemingly ferocious invertebrates are not commonly seen, and are distinguished by their two large chelicerae (think "mouth-claws") that rip their often still-living prey to pieces as it slurps the liquids into its mouth.