Wind Scorpions (Solifugae)

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Wind scorpions resemble spiders with 10 legs, but they are not spiders, and they have only 8 legs. The front pair of "legs" are actually pedipalps, the same type of appendages that look like front claws on scorpions. The pedipalps are used for feeding, mating, and defense. Wind scorpions have very large jaws, and they range in size from about half an inch long to more than 6 inches long including their legs. They are very fast runners, chasing prey and then catching it and ripping it up with their strong jaws. They eat insects and spiders, small reptiles, and dead birds. Wind scorpions usually live in hot, dry regions, though they avoid the sun. The name of the order, Solifugae, comes from the Latin "fleeing the sun" because they are often seen dashing from shadow to shadow to stay out of the sun.

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Last updated: Jan 2, 2017