Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not a spider – Not a Scorpion
This strange animal is called “Tailless Whip Scorpion”. This spider like animal is famous for their long, whip like front legs. Actually these tailless whip scorpions are neither true scorpions nor true spiders, but resemble a cross between the two. They live in humid habitat and prefer to hide under cavities of large tree roots and under the rocks. They prefer to hunt in night and rests in days. There are around 70 species worldwide.
The body of most tailless whip scorpion is around 2 inches long but the front leg pair is extremely long; up to 10 inches in few species. The tailless whips scorpion has one pair of eyes in the front side and three pairs of eyes on the side of head. The long, feeler-like front legs are important sensory organs for hunting and orientation at night. The tailless whip scorpion walks sideways with these legs leading the ways. The leg-like mouthparts are stout, spiny and used to capture and hold insect prey while it is ton by the fangs. Whip Scorpions are purely nocturnal hunters feeding mostly on insects such as cockroaches, grasshoppers and sometimes on centipedes. These are not at all venomous for human. Although these animals may look extremely dangerous and frightening, they are perfectly harmless and very shy.
Mating involves a brief courtship which begins with the male holding the females forelegs in his forelegs with their tips and walking backwards until the female raises her abdomen. The pregnant female digs a special burrow with a larger area at the end, when the eggs are laid they are inside a special membrane that prevents them from drying out. The female remains in the end of her burrow guarding the eggs. When the eggs hatch the young are white and look nothing like their mother, they climb onto her back and attach themselves there with special suckers. After a while they moult and the creature which now emerges looks like a miniature Whip Scorpion. After first moult they leave their mother. The young are slow growing and they gain maturity around the age of three years.
Yuwaraj Gurjar.http://www.yuwarajgurjar.com/

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