Animal Lovers' Blog

The Smaller Majority

It never ceases to amaze me how excited everybody gets about the prospect of finding life elsewhere in the universe, even if that life is likely to be in a form of thin layer of slime somewhere deep in the rocks, while our own planet is bursting with forms that would be considered figments of drunk imagination, if not for the fact that they actually exist. Among them, few possess a more fantastic combination of features than vinegaroons (Thelophonida), also known as tailed whipscorpions.

I first saw a live vinegaroon in Arizona. It just happens that the southern US has the world’s largest species; one who also has a strange preference for dry habitats. Normally, vinegaroons have little tolerance for water loss, and most species are found in tropical rainforests. Vinegaroos have poor vision, and thus their picture of the world is pieced together mostly from the input of thousands of…

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