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Daddy Long-Legs (Phalangida)
One of God's Little Folk

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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.  
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

- God's Little Folk -
Daddy Long-Legs (Phalangida)

On the sixth day of creation, God made them, and us!

(Daddy Long-Legs - 01)  We spotted this injured daddy long-legs on a begonia in one of our window boxes. Taxonomically, daddy long-legs are arthropods, in the same class as spiders, Arachnida, because they have 8 legs, but in a different order, Phalangida. Daddy long-legs are very fragile beings and can easily loose a leg; this one has lost 3 legs; however, they have the power to grow new ones.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 01a)  This is a closer look at the injured daddy long-legs. Anatomically daddy long-legs differ from spiders because their three body segments -- head, thorax and abdomen, are joined as one compact body segment. Spiders have two body segments -- the head and thorax are joined as the cephalothorax, and the abdomen is the second body segment. Insects, which are taxonomically in the class Insecta, have three distinct body segments.  The two little black dots at the front end of the body pattern (left side in photo) are the eyes. The daddy long-legs' body supports six pairs of appendages, the chelicerae, pedipalps and four pairs of legs. The chelicerae or jaws, and the short leg-like pedipalps are used for sensing, capturing and holding food until it is eaten, and this daddy long-legs also appears to have lost 2 of them.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 02)  This is another look at the injured daddy long-legs. This time we took the photo in the shadow to better show the 5 remaining legs, which are the most impressive feature of this being.  The legs of the daddy long-legs can be as much as 30 times the length of the body.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 02a)  In this close up side view of the daddy long-legs, we get a much better look at the impressive length of the legs.  We can also see the dark colored connection points of the missing legs on the daddy long-legs' body (one on the left side, and two on the right side), from which new legs will grow.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 03)  This is another look at the injured daddy long-legs on the begonia leaf.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 03a)  In this close up photo of the injured daddy long-legs, we have a better look at the missing leg joints on the side of the body.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 04)  This is another photo of the injured daddy long-legs.  It appears that daddy long-legs will give up a leg to a predator in order to escape.  The detached leg will continue to twitch for a little while to confuse the predator and allow the daddy long-legs to escape.

(Daddy Long-Legs - 05)  This is a final look at the injured daddy long-legs.

| God's Little Folk | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

If you would like to contribute a photo and/or comment to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman flh@all-creatures.org

Photos by Frank L. Hoffman unless otherwise noted

2002-2008 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link www.all-creatures.org .


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