Microwhip Scorpions: Palpigradi

There are only 79 species of this ancient arachnid order, and they look like slender vinegaroon nymphs. Like the other whip scorpions we’ve covered, they have modified the first pair of legs to act as sensory organs. They have no eyes, and some have no lungs, instead absorbing oxygen directly into their body through their cuticle. Their exoskeleton is relatively thin compared to other arthropods, making it difficult to determine exactly when they evolved; fossils of this arachnid order are rare. The earliest appearance in the fossil record dates back to 99 million years ago.

Palpigradi Fun Fact! A single species of microwhip scorpion is endemic to the island of Malta, where it has only been recorded once in a single cave, making it one of the rarer animals on the planet.