Have you ever observed a millipede or centipede closely? The first thing you will observe about these creatures is how they move. Their peculiar movement is because they have more than four legs.
When we think of animals, we associate them with having four legs or being four-limbed. But centipedes and millipedes are some of the few insects with several legs on both sides of their slim bodies. Furthermore, you will find that their legs are always in pairs.
While I was talking about these creatures in my class, my second-grade students asked, ‘what animals have eight legs?’ This seemed like an exciting project, so in this article, we will discuss seven animals that have legs.
Animals with 8 legs:
List of animals with 8 legs:
The scorpion comes under the category of creatures we know as arachnids and this is most likely the first creature that will cross your mind when thinking of eight-legged animals.
You will find that of the eight legs of scorpions; the front two are in the form of pincers. The sharp pincers help the scorpion hold the prey before piercing it with its venom. The scorpion’s tail has the sting, and it is here that the venom resides.
Scorpions do not attack creatures that are bigger than themselves.
However, you will find that they quickly scuttle away when they sense the presence of a larger animal in the area, and it is their eight legs that make this movement easier.
The other creature that will cross your mind when you think of an eight-legged animal is a spider.
The first thing that you will notice is the legs of the spider placed almost in a circular manner around the spider’s body.
Another thing about the legs of a spider is that they are always much longer compared to the spider’s body.
This is because the only pair of legs that can be shorter are the front pair called pedipalps. But these do not function like legs but more like hands.
The spider primarily has eight legs which are the long ones that you see protruding from its body and helps the creature move.
The pedipalps are primarily used in holding the prey while the spider will use its fangs to incapacitate their prey.
Lobsters are often considered ten-legged creatures or decapods because of their joined appendages but they have eight walking legs.
The most distinctive feature of a lobster is its pincers, which are biologically considered legs.
Like a scorpion, the pincer of a lobster helps it catch its prey and crush it.
Although they are primarily scavengers, research has shown that lobsters can catch and eat live food like clams, small fishes, sea urchins, and even more undersized lobsters.
Lobsters are invertebrates, and they have a hard exoskeleton covering their entire body. However, you will find that this exoskeleton covers all the legs of a lobster.
The other six legs of a lobster are much smaller than the pincers, which help the creature move fast underwater.
It is a common notion that ticks are insects because of their small size, but in reality, ticks are arachnids, and like other members of these species, ticks also have eight legs.
What sets ticks apart from other arachnids is that they have six legs in the larval stage. When they become adults, they grow the remaining two legs.
Another thing that you will find about ticks is that their body becomes engorged once they have fed on the blood of their host.
Ticks are irritating creatures as they are known to latch on to dogs quite quickly, especially the brown dog tick.
Ticks usually have an elongated oval body with legs on both sides.
You will find that the creature has four legs on each side of its body which makes eight legs in all.
Squids are marine creatures that have tentacles and limbs. If you observe a squid, you will find eight legs of equal lengths.
Squids are Cephalopod; these creatures are distinguished by their tentacles used as arms.
However, apart from the fellow Cephalopods, all of its arms are not tentacles; instead, it has only two tentacles used to grip prey.
Squids are one of the most dangerous visual hunters of the sea and it is known to be able to grasp prey often larger than itself in its razor-sharp tentacle.
The other limbs of a squid move easier so that they can swim up quite close to their prey. This is necessary before it can grip it in its tentacles.
Mites like spiders belong to the family of arachnids, and hence, they too have eight legs.
However, they share more remarkable similarities with ticks because initially, they have six legs, and when they become adults, they grow their remaining two legs.
Mites are one of the smallest members of the arachnid family, and unlike ticks and spiders, they have un-segmented bodies.
When you see a mite, look at it closely and you will find that its legs are not evenly distributed. Instead, you will find two long legs near the head, followed by a pair of tiny legs.
The remaining two pair of legs is at the bottom of the body. The only thing about the distribution of legs of mites is that you will find these on both sides of the creature’s body.
Octopuses are mollusks with eight limbs in the form of tentacles. The eight arms of octopuses have suckers that help the creature grab their prey.
You will find that an octopus can wrap itself around its prey with all of its tentacles before injecting it with venom.
The tentacles of an octopus also help the creature move swiftly and pounce on its prey.
An octopus will use visual and tactile cues to identify a suitable prey.
Once it does so, it will use all eight limbs to grab hold of it and inject its venom using its beak. Thus, in the case of an octopus, its limbs help not only in movement but also in the case of hunting.