Marine Arthropods: A Successful Design


Marine arthropods—crabs, shrimps and lobsters—have jointed appendages that are both strong and flexible which they use for sensing the world, feeding, and moving. Evolution has adapted these appendages, along with the segmented body, in amazing ways. An animation shows examples of this great potential. A surprising aspect to their body plan is that they wear their skeleton on the outside for protection. We see the incredible process of a crab shedding its exoskeleton, so its body can grow larger.

Next Generation Science Standards for this Video

The structure of the segmented body and jointed appendages easily allows adaptations to new functions.

The body plan animation visualizes the complex marine arthropod structures and how they function:

  • Hard exoskeleton
  • Numerous jointed appendages
  • Segmented body
  • Must molt to grow


Community Developed Lesson Plans to Use with this Video