Dictionary > Velvet worm

Velvet worm

Definition
noun, plural: velvet worms
Any of the invertebrates belonging to the phylum Onychophora, and characterized by having a wormlike appearance, velvety skin, and conical stub feet
Supplement
Velvet worms are invertebrates that are wormlike and have velvety skin texture (thus, the name). The velvety skin is due to the numerous fine transverse rings. They are segmented animals. They grow from 0.5 c up to 20 cm but in average they reach about 5 cm.
They have elongated, flattened, cylindrical, soft bodies with many legs or feet (called oncopods or lobopods, which are between 13 and 43 pairs). Their stub feet are characteristically conical, internally hollow, and lacking joints. Each foot has a pair of retractable, chitin claws. They feed on insects. They capture their prey by squirting a sticky slime.
Approximately, 200 species belonging to the phylum Onychophora were described. Only two families of velvet worms are extant: Peripatidae (the peripatids) and Peripatopsidae (the peripatopsids). They belong to the phylum Onychophora, which literally means claws (Greek onyches) to carry (Greek pherein). Examples of species are as follows: Euperipatoides rowelli (tallaganda velvet worm), Opisthopatus roseus (pink velvet worm), Peripatopsis clavigera
(Knysna velvet worm), and Peripatopsis alba (White Cave Velvet Worm).
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Subkingdom: Eumetazoa
  • Superphylum: Ecdysozoa
  • Phylum: Onychophora Grube, 1853
  • Class: Udeonychophora (Poinar, 2000)

Synonym(s):

  • onychophoran

See also:


You will also like...

human respiratory system
Respiration

The human respiratory system is an efficient system of inspiring and expiring respiratory gases. This tutorial provides ..

Balanced Diet
A Balanced Diet – Minerals and Proteins

Proteins and minerals can be derived from various dietary sources. They are essential for the proper growth and developm..

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

Mātauranga Māori and Science Collaboration
Mātauranga Māori and Science

Mātauranga Māori is the living knowledge system of the indigenous people of New Zealand, including the relationships t..

Plant Water Regulation
Plant Water Regulation

Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

Geological Periods
Geological Periods

Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics